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15 August 2012 / 12:30

Tashkent, Uzbekistan (UzDaily.com) --  On 13-14 August 2012, Uzbekistan hosts two training courses devoted to Rewards for Ecosystem Services (PES) - an innovative economic tool of ecosystem conservation in Uzbekistan.

The training seminars aim to enhance understanding of PES mechanisms and their benefits in sustainable conservation of ecosystems in the region with the focus on biodiversity. The events are to be organized by the Regional Environmental Centre for Central Asia (CAREC) with support from the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) under the framework of the joint project with the State Committee for Nature Protection of Uzbekistan “New Economic Incentives for Ecosystem Conservation in Uzbekistan” (2012-2013).

Ecosystems and biodiversity of Uzbekistan provide the local population with a wide variety of such vital services as regular water supply, rich soil, sound wood, clean air, recreational opportunities, regulation of weather, and a great number of other services.

The territory of Uzbekistan is a natural habitat for more than 26,000 species of flora and fauna, 15,000 of which are flora, and 11,000 - fauna species. At present environmental and economic practices are not always sustainable and in many cases lead to ecosystem degradation. In order to improve the health of ecosystems and enhance environmental sustainability the current methods of natural resources management are to be updated.

In this respect the mechanism of rewards (payments) for ecosystem services can well serve as an innovative financial instrument. The mechanism in itself is an agreement between a buyer, i.e. farmer, logger, tourist, etc., and a seller, i.e. farmers’ association, local authority, private company, etc., on provision of ecosystem services or measures to organize land tenure to ensure provision of such services.

The main goals of such trainings are identification of opportunities and benefits of PES based on the assessment of international, regional and national practices, and brainstorming and discussion of ideas on the future prospects of PES implementation in Uzbekistan.

On 13 August, the participants of Tashkent training seminar will be representatives of state environmental agencies, relevant ministries and agencies, representatives of legislative bodies, as well as independent experts.

On 14 August, Brichmulla, Ugam-Chatkal National Park, will host a training for representatives of non-governmental organizations, natural resource user associations, and local initiative groups.