FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia

FAO, GEF promote agrobiodiversity and sustainability to improve resilience in Tajikistan

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) launched a new project in the Republic of Tajikistan to improve regulations for the protection and sustainable use of agrobiodiversity and traditional knowledge on the topic. The three-year undertaking, “Facilitating agrobiodiversity conservation and sustainable use to promote food and nutritional resilience in Tajikistan,” is funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF).

The project aims to strengthen the conservation, sustainable use, and protection of Tajikistan’s nationally and globally significant agricultural biodiversity through assessing and maintaining local varieties and wild crop relatives. The joint FAO-GEF effort will also ensure fair and equitable distribution of profits generated, ultimately, allowing the people of Tajikistan, including women, youth and other disadvantaged groups, to benefit from better food and nutrition security, well-being, and livelihoods. Furthermore, the project contributes to the removal of barriers that limit the conservation and sustainable use of agro-biodiversity in Tajikistan.

The project also supports the government in meeting its national obligations under the Convention on Biological Diversity by facilitating the integration of biodiversity into agriculture, which will increase genetic diversity. Knowledge sharing will underpin the achievement of this goal. Project recipients will benefit from South-South Cooperation and other platforms, such as the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, that bring them the best-practices and methodologies that have proven successful in other countries around the world.

Farmers and landowners will receive training in conservation agriculture, climate change adaptation and sustainable farming techniques based on local and traditional knowledge. These practices allow for continued development and adaptation, and improve food security by encouraging consumption of the variety of products yielded through biodiversity. Community and family farmers will be trained on the identification, development, and implementation of plant breeding practices to conserve genetic resources.

In conjunction with government, FAO will promote the drafting and implementation of policies that will enhance the conservation of agrobiodiversity, as well as broadening the knowledge of extension and research agencies and institutions for in situ conservation.

Activities have officially started on 30 August with a workshop in Dushanbe at which relevant partners discussed the main project tasks, activities, and expected results planned for 2022–2023. Participants included representatives of government agencies, such as the Committee for Environmental Protection under the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan, Ministry of Agriculture, the Research Laboratory for Nature Protection, the National Center for Biodiversity and Biosafety, the Academy of Sciences, the State Institution of Specially Protected Natural Areas, the Agency on Hydrometeorology of the Committee for Environmental Protection under the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan, as well as civil society organizations.

The project activities will be carried out by FAO in close cooperation with the National Center for Environmental Activities of the Committee for Environmental Protection. 

12 September 2022, Dushanbe, Tajikistan