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Opportunities for climate change mitigation and adaptation through afforestation of degraded lands in Central Asia

Keywordsadaptive land use strategy, cropland marginalization, forest ecosystem services, multipurpose tree species, non-timber forest products, rural income, shallow groundwater table, soil salinity
CountriesUzbekistan, Karakalpakstan
ObjectivesThe project aims to explore the role of small-scale plantation forestry for ecological restorations and rural livelihoods in response to growing water scarcity and cropland degradation. Conversion of marginalized and abandoned croplands to tree plantations is assessed as a strategy to increase the productive capacity of the land by improving soil fertility and provisioning useful products, and to contribute to the global effort of the climate change mitigation via carbon sequestration in biomass and soil. The research program encompasses agroforestry, eco-physiological, socio-economic and policy aspects to identify the environmental, economic, institutional and informational conditions under which the afforestation projects can be realized in the context of Central Asia and addresses (i) the bio-physical potential for carbon sequestration such as availability and suitability of land, appropriate tree species and silvicultural techniques, and (ii) the socio-economic incentives of afforestation including those provided by the Clean Development Mechanism. The final outcome will consist of science-based recommendations for land use policies that support both local and global public goods in this geo-strategically and politically important region. The first phase of the project focused on infrastructure, establishment of field trials and databases. In the current phase, the simulation tools are being developed to upscale and integrate the field findings.
MethodologyExperimental designed field trials, mass spectrometry, remote sensing of land use change, cost-benefit analyses, GIS modeling, process-based modeling, sector modeling, agent-based modeling
Team MembersProf. Dr. Asia Khamzina
Dr. Nobusuke Iwasaki
Begzod Djalilov
Utkur Djanibekov
Tilman Schachtsiek
Olena Dubovyk
Holm Voigt
Julia Wellmann
Main Cooperation Partners
    ZEF/UNESCO land restructuring project, Khorezm, Uzbekistan
    Urgench State University, Khorezm, Uzbekistan
    Remote Sensing Unit, University of Wuerzburg
Main Funding PartnersRobert Bosch Foundation
Duration of the Project1 August 2009 - 31 July 2014
ContactProf. Dr. Asia Khamzina

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