Advancing medium and long-term adaptation planning in Uzbekistan

Project Overview

With financing from the Green Climate Fund (GCF), the "National Adaptation Plan (NAP) to advance medium and long-term adaptation planning in Uzbekistan" project will support the Government of Uzbekistan to develop a NAP. This climate change adaptation plan will be developed through an iterative process focused on strengthening foundational capacities to ensure that they are institutionalized for long-term sustainability. The project aims to strengthen institutional and technical capacities for the development of a NAP and the integration of climate change adaptation into national and subnational planning and budgeting processes.
 
With a population of over 34 million, Uzbekistan is the most populous country in the Central Asia region. The economy is based on the production of commodities, particularly, cotton, gold, uranium and natural gas, with agriculture comprising 19 percent of the country’s GDP. Issues with water shortages and soil salinity and erosion, are serious issues in Uzbekistan, and around 20 percent of the country’s population are already affected by water salinization. This situation is worsened by the continuing disappearance of the Aral Sea, which has lost 80 percent of its volume and 64 percent of its depth in the past four decades. The combined effects mean climate change is expected to reduce crop yields by 20 – 50 percent through to 2050.
 
With the development of a NAP process, Uzbekistan will lay the groundwork for the systemic and iterative identification of medium and long-term risks, allowing it to establish adaptation priorities and build out specific activities that ensure no one is left behind in the country’s work to reach its goals outlined through the Paris Agreement and 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. As part of the localization of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the NAP process will contribute to the formulation of corresponding national climate-responsive indicators and targets.
 
The main beneficiaries of GCF financing support will be the Center of Hydrometeorological Services (Uzhydromet) under the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan, as well as stakeholders from five key sectors (agriculture, water, health, housing and emergency management) and provincial governments in the three target provinces of this project (Karakalpakstan, Bukhara and Khorezm).

 

*The designations employed and the presentation of material on this map do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Secretariat of the United Nations or UNDP concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.

Expected Outcomes

Output 1: The coordination mechanism for multi-sectoral adaptation planning and implementation at different levels is strengthened
 
Output 2: The evidence base for adaptation planning is strengthened and adaptation prioritized into national and sectoral planning and budgeting
 
Output 3: Adaptation financing and investment strategy for Uzbekistan is developed

 

Project Details

Source of Funds

Green Climate Fund

Key Implementers

National Governments
Non-Governmental Organizations
Private Sector Partners
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Funding Amounts

US$1,748,959

Project Partners

Government of Uzbekistan
Green Climate Fund

Introduction

With financing from the Green Climate Fund (GCF), the "National Adaptation Plan (NAP) to advance medium and long-term adaptation planning in Uzbekistan" project will support the Government of Uzbekistan to develop a NAP. This climate change adaptation plan will be developed through an iterative process focused on strengthening foundational capacities to ensure that they are institutionalized for long-term sustainability. The project aims to strengthen institutional and technical capacities for the development of a NAP and the integration of climate change adaptation into national and subnational planning and budgeting processes.
 
With a population of over 34 million, Uzbekistan is the most populous country in the Central Asia region. The economy is based on the production of commodities, particularly, cotton, gold, uranium and natural gas, with agriculture comprising 19 percent of the country’s GDP. Issues with water shortages and soil salinity and erosion, are serious issues in Uzbekistan, and around 20 percent of the country’s population are already affected by water salinization. This situation is worsened by the continuing disappearance of the Aral Sea, which has lost 80 percent of its volume and 64 percent of its depth in the past four decades. The combined effects mean climate change is expected to reduce crop yields by 20 – 50 percent through to 2050.
 
With the development of a NAP process, Uzbekistan will lay the groundwork for the systemic and iterative identification of medium and long-term risks, allowing it to establish adaptation priorities and build out specific activities that ensure no one is left behind in the country’s work to reach its goals outlined through the Paris Agreement and 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. As part of the localization of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the NAP process will contribute to the formulation of corresponding national climate-responsive indicators and targets.
 
The main beneficiaries of GCF financing support will be the Center of Hydrometeorological Services (Uzhydromet) under the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan, as well as stakeholders from five key sectors (agriculture, water, health, housing and emergency management) and provincial governments in the three target provinces of this project (Karakalpakstan, Bukhara and Khorezm).

 

Project Details

The Government of Uzbekistan began working on the NAP process in 2016 and stated their intent to strengthen the country’s resilience to climate change in their Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC). The proposed project will enable the Republic of Uzbekistan to integrate climate change adaptation requirements into developmental planning and processes. 
 
Although extensive environmental legislation exists in Uzbekistan, it only marginally covers protection of the climate system and mainly focuses on clean air. Despite recent assessments and risk analyses that have been undertaken in identifying vulnerable regions and economic sectors to the effects of climate change, no framework exists to date on climate change adaptation, nor climate change at large. 
 
Submitted in 2017, Uzbekistan’s NDC outlines the country’s planning process to strengthen adaptation and mitigation actions. This falls short of spelling out a detailed NAP, but includes identification of political measures, implementation of climate actions, development of scientific research and education as priorities. The poorest population of Uzbekistan lives in the most arid parts of the country, and are dependent on subsistence agriculture, and face increased vulnerability to changes in climate conditions and natural resource availability. Given this, the government has recognized the urgent need for climate change adaptation measures. 
 
This project, as part of Uzbekistan’s response to address the above challenges, aims to advance the adaptation planning process for priority climate-sensitive sectors and regions in Uzbekistan. It will accomplish this via achieving the following three end goals:
  1. identify barriers to integration of climate change adaptation into development planning and budgeting, and subsequently build capacity of key stakeholders to effectively plan for and monitor adaptation in Uzbekistan;
  2. consolidate existing climate information and put in place a system for science-based, economic analysis of adaptation options, to enable informed decision making in climate change adaptation in the country; and
  3. identify options to sustainably finance the NAP process in Uzbekistan, and engage the private sector in supporting adaptation.
 
Context
 
Uzbekistan is a large country in Central Asia with an arid, continental climate characterised by cold winters, hot summers and limited precipitation. Since 1938, the climate in Uzbekistan has risen by approximately 1.5°C. By 2050, mean temperatures are expected to increase from 1.9°C in the Gissar-Alay Mountains, to 2.4°C in the Southern region.
 
With a population of over 34 million, Uzbekistan is the most populous country in the Central Asia region. The economy is based on the production of commodities, particularly, cotton, gold, uranium and natural gas, with agriculture comprising 19 percent of the country’s GDP. Issues with water shortages and soil salinity and erosion, are serious issues in Uzbekistan, and around 20 percent of the country’s population are already affected by water salinization. This situation is worsened by the continuing disappearance of the Aral Sea, which has lost 80 percent of its volume and 64 percent of its depth in the past four decades. The combined effects mean climate change is expected to reduce crop yields by 20 – 50 percent through to 2050.
 
NDCs and NAPs
 
The closest strategy Uzbekistan has to a national climate change policy framework is the State Environmental Protection Programme (SEPP), the current version of which stretches from 2018 – 2022. In February 2017, Uzbekistan submitted its Third National Communication to the UNFCCC and in September 2018 ratified the Paris Agreement, bringing its Nationally Determined Contributions into effect. These documents prioritise Uzbekistan’s climate change adaptation and mitigation priorities. With a large hydrocarbons industry, Uzbekistan has typically focused on climate change mitigation. But recently, with NAP-GSP support, it has developed a workplan (2017 – 2020) to deliver a NAP. The assumption is that it will take some time for climate change adaptation considerations to be fully integrated into the national development planning system, a critical process for achieving the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals.
 
Uzbekistan’s first NDC stated the government’s mitigation commitment to decrease emissions of specific greenhouse gases per unit of GDP by 10 percent by 2030, from 2010 levels. It also committed to continue its efforts on building adaptation capacity to reduce the risks of climate change and the adverse impacts it has on various sectors of the economy, social sector and the Priaralie (Aral Sea coastal zone). It outlined five priority areas to focus adaptation efforts and interventions up until 2030:
  1. agriculture and water management sector;
  2. the social sector;
  3. the disaster impacts that could occur from the deteriorating health of the Aral Sea;
  4. ecosystems; and
  5. strategic infrastructure and production facilities.
 
This project and the development of a NAP will help Uzbekistan progress towards these targets over the next ten years until 2030; the UN’s Decade of Action.
 
Uzbekistan is also engaged in UNDP’s Climate Promise, an offer to support at least 100 countries enhance their NDCs by COP26 – and is currently revising its NDC through this initiative. Based on the Strategy for Transition to Green Economy up to 2030 adopted in October 2019, Uzbekistan intends to revisit the current NDC to explore potential for raising the ambition of both its mitigation, as well as its adaptation goals in its enhanced NDC. This NAP project is complementing this work.
 
Baseline Situation 
 
The closest strategy Uzbekistan has to a national climate change policy framework is the State Environmental Protection Programme (SEPP), the current version of which stretches from 2018 – 2022. The legislative document that governs climate change policies and actions is the 1999 National Strategy on Sustainable Development (NSSD). The NSSD serves as the overarching framework for sustainable development and functions as the basic reference document for all strategies and legislations. Uzbekistan’s five-year plan, Uzbekistan’s Development Strategy for 2017-20217, adopted in 2017, has five priority areas including: a) system of state and public construction, b) rule of law and judicial system reform, c) economic development and liberalization, d) development of social sphere, and e) security, inter-ethnic harmony and religious tolerance and balanced foreign policy.
 
The Strategy for Transition to Green Economy up to 2030 adopted in October 2019 sets the following targets:
  • Reduction of specific greenhouse gas emission per unit of GDP by 10% of the level of the baseline year 2010;
  • Twice increase of energy efficiency and reduction of carbon intensity of GDP;
  • Greater use of renewable energy sources to increase their share in the electrical energy mix by at least 25 percent;
  • Ensuring an access of 100 percent of population and economy sectors to affordable, modern and stable energy supply; Increasing energy efficiency of industries by at least 20 percent through infrastructure modernization and utilization of clean and environment friendly technologies;
  • Increasing energy efficiency and reducing air pollutions and greenhouse gases from transport as well as development of electric transport;
  • Significant increase of efficiency of water resources use in all sectors of economy through use of drip irrigation at up to 1 million hectares to increase yield of agricultural crops by 20-40 percent; and
  • Achievement of neutral balance of land degradation (to halt land degradation); Increase of average productivity of the key agricultural food products by 20-25 percent.
 
Climate change, including adaptation, appears prominently in the government’s priority on economic development and liberalization, indicating strong political support. The Stocktaking report, developed by the NAP-GSP in 2016, built on this political intent and was critical in outlining the steps towards this project proposal and its acceptance by the GCF board. Now there is funding and concrete plan to strengthen the Government of Uzbekistan’s capacity to develop and deliver a NAP, with a well understood baseline from which to work from.
 
Stakeholder Consultations
 
To prepare for this project, a stocktaking mission was conducted to review relevant climate change initiatives and to engage and communicate with national stakeholders on climate mainstreaming. The stocktaking was completed in October 2016. The mission allowed for a qualitative assessment of the institutional framework and capacities relevant to the NAP process and resulted in proposing a country-based roadmap to advance the NAP process. The mission also built on Uzbekistan’s participation in the Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia Regional Workshop on the NAP Process, held on 28–30 June, 2016 in Chisinau, Moldova organised by the joint UNDP-UNEP NAP-GSP. During this gathering, the government representatives identified some of the critical support needed for the NAP process, mostly in regard to capacity building and improving the knowledge base. The overall aim is that the NAP process will improve integrating long-term adaptation into national and sectoral strategic planning, policy and budgeting processes while offering guidance for domestic and donor-supported resourcing, monitoring, and assistance.
 
By aligning itself with the government’s National Strategy on Sustainable Development (NSSD), focusing on strengthening existing systems and mechanisms, this project aims to be both incremental and sustainable. It employs a participatory and deliberative approach, with stakeholder representatives from vulnerable populations, including women and indigenous people involved throughout. Gender inclusiveness is at the center of Uzbekistan’s NAP process. The need for gender mainstreaming in climate change adaptation planning and budgeting is highlighted in the projects’ design which recognises that adaptation cannot be successful without the involvement of all Uzbeks, particularly women. During the implementation process, gender concerns will be brought to the forefront through all three of the project outcomes.
 
 
Implementing Agencies & Partnering Organizations: 
Government of Uzbekistan
Green Climate Fund
Location: 
Urban
Funding Source: 
Financing Amount: 
US$1,748,959

Key Results and Outputs

Output 1: The coordination mechanism for multi-sectoral adaptation planning and implementation at different levels is strengthened
 
Capacities of Uzhydromet (NDA) and sectoral partners will steer the climate change coordination and integration process are strengthened and an adaptation framework is initiated. Institutional barriers to the integration of climate change into development planning and policies are reviewed and key stakeholders are sensitized to climate change adaptation and development linkages. Capacities for regularly monitoring, updating and reviewing adaptation actions are enhanced. These activities together aim to address the barriers related to limited technical skills, cross sectoral engagement, and frame- work to govern climate change in Uzbekistan by a) developing technical capacity for coordination and monitoring of climate change adaptation (CCA); b) initiating the NAP as a framework; and c) building awareness and promoting cross-sectoral engagement. 
 
Output 2: The evidence base for adaptation planning is strengthened and adaptation prioritized into national and sectoral planning and budgeting
 
Climate data is consolidated for the five priority sectors, and vulnerability assessments are conducted for the health sector. A system for economic analysis and appraisal of priority adaptation options is established. CCA priority interventions are integrated into national and sectoral planning and budgeting. Activities under this outcome aim to address barriers related to the weak existing knowledge base on climate change, encouraging harmonized data collection and distribution, valuation and prioritization, and a sectoral integration of CCA priorities. This will be accomplished by a) consolidating and complementing climate data through a single outlet, b) establishing a system for economic valuation and prioritization, and c) integration of CCA priorities into sectoral plans and budgets.
 
Output 3: Adaptation financing and investment strategy for Uzbekistan is developed
 
A NAP Financing and Investment Strategy on initial priority sectors considering specific impacts and vulnerabilities is developed through a consultative process with equal representation of women. Private sector engagement in CCA is strengthened. The above activities aim to address barriers related to lack of CCA related expenditure tracking and budgeting, and a lack of a framework and monitoring system resulting in limited investments in CCA. This will be accomplished by a) developing a financing strategy for CCA, and b) facilitating an enabling environment for private sector engagement in CCA.