"The Turanian temperate deserts" have been among the applicants for inclusion on the UNESCO World Heritage List. For this purpose, the UNESCO World Heritage Center in Paris held a presentation of the necessary list of documents for this transnational serial object. Three states of the region - Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan - were involved in the preparation of the documentation. Representatives of the University of Greifswald and a sub-regional office of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) were also involved. The package of documents was prepared within the framework of the general project of Michael Zuckoff Nature Foundation (MSF, Germany) "Central Asian Desert Initiative" (CADI), which is financially supported by the International Climate Initiative (IKI).
The goal of the CADI project is to preserve biodiversity and ecosystem services in the temperate deserts of the Central Asian region, which in the post-Soviet space are often divided into "southern" and "northern". The object "Turan deserts of the temperate zone" has components of both of the above-mentioned types of deserts, located on the territories of the three states. The total number of components is 15. All of them have the status of specially protected regional natural areas. The Turkmen side nominated 4 of them - Eradzhi, Repetek, Bereketli Garagum and Gaplangyr. The components are located in the depths of one of the largest deserts in the world - the Karakums - Central, Eastern and Northern, respectively, and are typical habitats of the Central Asian deserts of the temperate zone.
The key objective of specially protected natural areas is to conserve ecosystems and biodiversity and to increase their abundance, as well as to carry out research work in these areas. It should be noted that temperate deserts are the only biome with no UNESCO World Natural Heritage sites.
The environmental ministries of Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan continue to cooperate in this area. In particular, they signed a Memorandum of Understanding. The parties agreed to jointly manage and protect the sites of the transnational serial object "Turan temperate deserts". The nomination will be reviewed by IUCN experts to determine consistency with the requirements of the Convention on the Conservation of the Global Cultural and Natural Heritage.
Source and photo: turkmenistan.gov.tm