Uzbekistan is situated in the heart of Central Asia, bordering Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. The main part of Uzbekistan's territory falls on the desert plains. Uzbekistan's terrain is mostly flat-to-rolling sandy desert with dunes. Desert forests account for 78 percent of its territory. The eastern part and the north-east consist of mountains and foothills. Potential adaptation measures include: the implementation of an integrated water resources management system, water saving, the improvement of irrigation-drainage systems, the introduction of drought-resistant plant species, and monitoring for potential natural hazards. Uzbekistan's climate is arid continental. The northern region of Uzbekistan is temperate, whilst the southern region is subtropical. The country’s climate is characterized by seasonal and day-to-night fluctuations in air temperatures. Summer in Uzbekistan is long, dry and hot; Spring is humid; and Winter in Uzbekistan is irregular. Air temperatures in the desert can reach 45-49 degrees Celsius. In the southern region, temperatures can drop down to -25 degrees Celsius. In the plains of Uzbekistan, precipitation is minimal (between 80-200 millimeters). In the foothills, precipitation can be as much as 300-400 millimeters per year, and about 600-800 millimeters per year on the west and south-west slopes of mountain ridges. Biodiversity in Uzbekistan is currently threatened due to high anthropogenic load. Climate change intensifies the desertification process and decreases water resources, leading to reduced biodiversity in riparian forests and water ecosystems. The biodiversity of the Aral Sea, for example, has been greatly reduced. An increase in the frequency of natural disasters is a potential issue for Uzbekistan. Estimates show increases in the number of mudflows and avalanches are expected up until 2050.
Uzbekistan is the world’s fifth largest cotton producer and second-largest cotton exporter. Major raw materials exported include gold, natural gas, copper and other non-ferrous metals and construction materials. The country possesses a young and educated labor force, rich agricultural resources and has significant economic potential (World Bank, 2010; UNDP, 2009). The service sector of Uzbekistan constitutes 39.5 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The agriculture sector is also vital to Uzbekistan's economy, constituting 24.1 percent of the country’s GDP. Irrigated farming forms the base of agricultural production. Consequently Uzbekistan uses approximately 90 percent of surface water for irrigation. Lack of water resources and land degradation are currently threatening the productivity of this sector. Increasing air temperatures associated with global warming pose a significant threat to this sector, reducing the available water for irrigation. As up to 80 percent of the foodstuffs required for the country's population are produced by the agrarian sector, reductions in productivity could threaten the food security of the country. High soil salinity is also an issue in Uzbekistan. Arable lands located at the lower reaches of rivers are especially saline, affecting agricultural productivity.