AKIPRESS.COM - The World Bank Board of Executive Directors approved a $142 million concessional credit for Uzbekistan. The financing will support a project that aims to increase the area under sustainable landscape management, restore degraded forested lands in various regions of the country, and promote Uzbekistan’s collaboration with other Central Asian countries on transboundary landscape restoration. This project is part of the Resilient Landscapes in Central Asia Program (RESILAND CA+) that aims to increase resilience to further desertification, landscape degradation and climate change.
To implement the project, the International Development Association (IDA), part of the World Bank Group, will provide the concessional financing to the Government of Uzbekistan at a low-interest rate, with a repayment period of 30 years, including a five-year grace period.
The project will also benefit from the financial support provided by the trust funds – the Korea - World Bank Partnership Facility ($3 million) and the Global Partnership for Sustainable and Resilient Landscapes ($8 million).
Uzbekistan has low forest coverage, with an estimated 3.68 million hectares of land covered with forested lands, corresponding to 8.6 percent of the land area. Over the past 30 years, the area of forested and other wooded lands has been degraded because of uncontrolled animal husbandry, increasing demand for industrial and fuel wood due to limited energy sources in rural areas, and expansion of irrigated agriculture into forests. Other degradation factors have been the changing climatic conditions, which could be associated with an increased incidence of wildfires and pest and disease outbreaks.
The project approved today will contribute to the goals of the new Country Partnership Framework for 2022-2026 aimed at supporting the Government of Uzbekistan in implementing the next phase of reforms in its transition toward an inclusive and sustainable market economy. One of its priority areas is to advance environmental sustainability in the context of significant exposure to climate change.