Central Asian Desert Initiative (CADI) – conservation and sustainable use of winter-cold deserts in Central Asia

The winter-cold deserts of Central Asia are important migration areas for birds and for the last wild ungulate herds of the north, which include the rare Saiga antelopes. The grazing grounds in these areas are also an important basis for the livelihoods of the local human populations. In addition, these unique natural regions absorb large amounts of carbon from the atmosphere and slow down the ongoing process of desertification. The project helped the partner institutions with sustainable land use planning that involved the region’s populations, and also supported the establishment of protected areas and world natural heritage sites. It networked key stakeholders and supported the partner countries in implementing their international CBD and UNFCCC obligations. This was carried out by means of policy advice, scientific cooperation, training measures and the introduction of the regional desert initiative “CADI” – the Central Asian Desert Initiative.

Project data

China, Iran, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan
IKI funding
3,811,831.00 €
07/2016 till 07/2022
Implementing organisation
Universität Greifswald / University of Greifswald
Political Partner
  • Ministry of Agriculture - Kazakhstan
  • Ministry of Agriculture and Environmental Protection - Turkmenistan
  • Ministry of Ecology, Geology and Nature Protection – Kazakhstan*
  • State Committee on Forestry of the Republic of Uzbekistan / Staatliches Komitee für Forstwesen der Republik Usbekistan - Usbekistan
Implementing Partner
  • Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) - Uzbekistan
  • Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Subregional Office for Central Asia - Türkei
  • Michael-Succow-Foundation / Michael Succow Stiftung

State of implementation/results

  • Project completed.
  • Publication of the proceedigs of the international CADI conference held in Tashkent on 2 and 3 December 2021 (www.fao.org/…).
  • Creation of an information poster on biodiversity in the Aral region (cadi.uni-greifswald.de/… cadi.uni-greifswald.de/…).
  • Creation of a project flyer, biannual distribution of a CADI newsletter, and creation of a CADI Instagram (www.instagram.com/…) and Facebook account.
  • Development of an exemplary biodiversity monitoring concept for the "cold winter deserts" biome in Kazakhstan.
  • Posting of online clips about the deserts of Central Asia over the YouTube channel "Vse Kak U Zverei" in Russian with English subtitles:
  • Publication of a report on the Ustjurt expeditions in Kasachstan 2017-2019 (cadi.uni-greifswald.de/…).
  • Support of six scholarship holders from Iran, Kazakhstan, Mongolia and Uzbekistan (five publications to date) through the CADI Fellowship Program.
  • Development and implementation of a CADI communication strategy by MSS and online publication of the CADI webpage in three languages.
  • Online publication of digital herbaria of the floras of Kazakhstan (flora-kaz.botanik.uni-greifswald.de) and Turkmenistan (flora-tm.botanik.uni-greifswald.de).
  • Transnational nomination (Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan) of the "Winter Cold Deserts of Turan" as a World Natural Heritage Site

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