National consultations organized by FAO in Tajikistan held today will assist local and international partners to integrate resilience strategies into their policies and action plans, and adopt and expand the use of climate-smart agriculture practices.

According to FAO CO in Tajikistan, the project corresponds to achieving one of its five Strategic Objectives – namely to “make agriculture, forestry and fisheries more productive and sustainable” in Central Asia and Turkey.

The national consultations were reportedly held under the project “Integrated natural recourses management in drought-prone and salt-affected agricultural production landscapes in Central Asia and Turkey” financed by Global Environment Facility (GEF), aimed at development of mechanisms to minimize pressures and negative impacts from drought and salinity, reduce risks and vulnerability to climate change, and enhance capacity to cope with or adapt with environmental changes.

This project will assist Central Asian countries, including, Tajikistan in tackling challenges related to desertification, land degradation and drought, climate change, and biodiversity. The main objective is to scale up the best land use practices, developed in the region, and to integrate these approaches into the existing government mechanisms.

“In particular, adoption of integrated landscape management approaches and practices should help to stabilize and even reverse trends of soil salinization, reduce erosion, improve water capture and retention, increase the sequestration of carbon and reduce loss of agro-biodiversity,” said Mr Viorel Gutu, FAO Representative in Tajikistan.

In salt-affected landscapes, where conventional crops fail to achieve satisfactory yield rates, production systems and markets need to be adjusted, and effective government policies can make a difference in ensuring food security and sustainable livelihoods.

The project will also reinforce cooperation and partnership among countries in the region, in particular in the area of policy and investment decisions for drought-prone and salt-affected landscapes.