UNDP supports Turkmenistan in reducing risks associated with climate change

Photo: Local nursery in Sakarchage/UNDP Turkmenistan

Global Climate change is leading to a temperature rise around the world. According to the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, by the end of the century the Earth's temperature could increase by 1,8-4,6 °C. Already, in the Central Asian region we see an increase in droughts and floods, melting of glaciers, reduction of rainfalls.

The average annual temperature in Turkmenistan is increasing by 0,18-0,2°C per decade. It belongs to the countries that are most vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change, mainly in agriculture, water resources, human health and natural ecosystems, according to the National Strategy on Climate Change Turkmenistan, 2012. In recognition of this, Turkmenistan is making efforts to become more efficient in water management as a priority for sustainable development.

UNDP and the Adaptation Fund are working with the Ministry of Nature Protection of Turkmenistan to pilot a project which is aimed at improving the sustainability of local communities of around 40,000 people in three different agro-climatic zones in Turkmenistan: Nohur, Karakum and Sakarchaga.


  • Adaptation Fund project budget amounts to USD 2,929,500
  • Trainings in project regions help identify the community needs and develop adaptation measures in the context of climate change.
  • National Strategy of Turkmenistan on Climate Change, adopted in 2012, projects that by 2040 the temperature will rise by about 2°C throughout Turkmenistan.

The project first identified the needs of the local communities in the pilot regions. After this, plan was developed and measures were implemented that included the construction of different types of water facilities together with an intensive training program to farmers to improve their framing practices.

In Nohur, the local communities built 10 reservoirs, as well as reconstructed the existing reservoirs for collecting and storing rainwater. They also constructed measures to protection local natural springs and introduced drip irrigation on 20 hectares of land for growing vegetables and fruits.

News methods of composting was encouraged. This has increasing the productivity of the soil for fruit and vegetable growing. In addition, the projectrestored 10 hectares of forest by planting 1250 seedlings of Turkmen juniper trees. This will help to prevent soil erosion.

In Karakum, the project constructed and renovated facilities to collect water, including 11 new sardobs of 60 m3, 4 sardobs of 500 m3 and 8 kaks. Seven new wells were constructed and 6 existing wells were renovated using traditional methods.

These measures increased the consumption of drinking water, and helped expand the area of ​​irrigated pasture for local residents. The project has implemented dune fixation over 10 hectares to protect homes and infrastructure from sand drifts.

In Sakarchaga, the project implemented a range of activities to promote efficient use of water for irrigation and increase the productivity of the crops. In particular, it reconstructed and cleaned more than 10 km of existing drainage canals dividing the many irrigated fields. It also installed 16 regulating devices on the water distribution canals to control more efficiently the amounts of water flowing to the irrigated fields. Laser equipment was used for the first time on 17 hectares of irrigated land, thus allowing an even distribution of water over the irrigated fields. In 2015, over 8000 seedlings were planted as a mechanism to provide shelter beds to the crops.

UNDP Resident Representative Jacinta Barrins welcomes these measures for greater efficient in water management and the research that is carried out at each of the sites. “This project helps both the farmers and local communities, and explains the science behind the measures and their impact. All these measures are helping Turkmenistan to solve its problems associated with climate change.”


Continue with the photo essay "A desert, a mountain, and an oasis. Promoting climate-resilient farming in Turkmenistan" by UNDP Turkmenistan, David Angelson and Andrea Egan

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