During the 28th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) in Dubai, the Minister of Ecology, Environmental Protection, and Climate Change of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Aziz Abdukhakimov, met with the Director-General of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Dr. Grethel Aguilar.
The meeting took place at the "Uzbekistan" pavilion. The Minister congratulated Dr. G. Aguilar on her appointment as Director-General and expressed hope for the continuation of close and practical cooperation with IUCN, as well as the implementation of joint nature conservation projects in Uzbekistan.
Note: Dr. G. Aguilar assumed this position on October 20, 2023. Dr. Bruno Oberle held this position from 2020 to 2023.
During the meeting, the parties noted that collaboration has already begun on the implementation of joint grant projects totaling more than $22 million, including 2 national projects and 1 regional project. The projects aim to protect the environment, restore land, improve the ecosystems of valuable landscapes in Uzbekistan, enhance climate resilience, and develop human and institutional capacity.
"We are grateful to the Government of Uzbekistan for their cooperation with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Uzbekistan is a very important part of the world, as it has rich biodiversity and cultural heritage. Therefore, it is a great honor for us to collaborate with such a country," noted Dr. Grethel Aguilar. - We are also looking forward to the opportunity to participate in the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS COP14). IUCN carries out significant work in protecting these animals worldwide, including compiling the Red List of Threatened Species and activities related to the conservation of protected areas. But most of all, we are eagerly awaiting the day of the opening of the Central Asian Office of IUCN in Uzbekistan when we can share this joy with the Uzbek people. Therefore, this event is of great importance to us, and we want to express immense gratitude to the Government of Uzbekistan for supporting us and becoming a partner in nature conservation in Uzbekistan and around the world," - added the Director-General of IUCN.
In addition, the meeting focused on aspects such as cooperation in the development of conservation and management plans, the publication of a new Red List of Uzbekistan updated according to IUCN methodology, establishing close collaboration with experts from the organization and the Environmental Law Center in Bonn, and cooperation in improving management in protected areas.
The meeting also discussed the opening of the first IUCN office in Central Asia.
"This will further strengthen mutual cooperation. In the future, this office can serve as a center for the CIS countries in Central Asia, as it will allow for closer contact with the Central Asian countries, partners, and the expert community," - added the Minister.
The opening ceremony of the IUCN representative office in Tashkent is planned to take place during the 14th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS COP14), which will be held in February of next year. During COP14, an IUCN pavilion, joint side events, and exhibitions are planned.
IUCN has also highlighted the organization of important nature conservation conferences in the coming year, including the IUCN World Conservation Congress (WWC), which will take place from October 9 to 15, 2024, in Abu Dhabi, UAE, and the Regional Forum on Nature Conservation in Europe, Northern and Central Asia, which will be held from September 30 to October 10, 2024, in Bruges, Belgium.