<UZBEKISTAN> MoU Signed with the local Department of Forestry Contributing with Technology and Knowledge to the Greening of the Entire Aral Sea Area

Environmental Restoration/News/Rural Development
  1. Home
  2. Environmental Restoration
  3. <UZBEKISTAN> MoU Signed with the local Department of Forestry Contributing with Technology and Knowledge to the Greening of the Entire Aral Sea Area

OISCA conducted a training course in herbal medicine cultivation in Moynak, a town at the entrance to the Aral Sea, where OISCA’s activities are taking place, on December 16, 2023 in a desert greening project underway in Uzbekistan. The project aims to create a new industry in the surrounding area by artificially parasitizing the roots of Saxaul trees planted in the desert with Costance deserticola, a raw material for Chinese herbal medicine, and to contribute to improving the livelihood of the local residents. Since there are no cases of local cultivation and utilization of Cistance deserticola, lectures on these methods were given during this training.

The training took place in extremely cold weather of minus 20 degrees Celsius

   Many of the participants were local residents who used to fish in the Aral Sea. The participants who listened to the lecture earnestly asked questions such as “What are the benefits of Cistance deserticola?”, “When is the best time to sow seed?”, indicating their strong desire to create a new income-generating industry in the area.

   On January 22 and 23 of this year, in addition to planting Saxaul using a tractor, we also conducted a test planting using five different types of water-retaining materials. The tractor was essential in the planting area, where each row was 2 km long. 30,000 trees were planted in two days, as planned. 

Two people ride on a planting machine attached to the back of a tractor, setting seedling as they go

   OISCA started the project with the goal of greening 40,000 ha, which is only 0.7% of the area that needs to be greened. On the other hand, the government of Uzbekistan has announced a goal of greening 260 ha in 5 years from 2022 to 2026 and is promoting greening by planting Saxaul trees and direct seeding, but the survival rate is quite low and the country is facing major technical challenges. Accordingly, OISCA signed a memorandum of understanding with the Karakalpakstan Department of Forestry, Karakalpastan Agricultural University, and UNDP Nukus to cooperate in the project, and decided to contribute to the greening of a larger area by sharing the technology, experience, and knowledge accumulated so far, and working together. OISCA’s technological development will contribute to the greening of the entire Aral Sea by making it possible to achieve greening that was previously impossible in areas with severe conditions such as salt damage.