Climate change in the desert – how livestock adapts

Climate change in the desert – how livestock adapts

The United Nations Development Program in Turkmenistan, in partnership with the International Union for Conservation of Nature and the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea, will join efforts to introduce innovative technologies in order to adapt to climate change in the desert.

Under the Project “Supporting Climate-Resilient Livelihoods in Agricultural Communities in Drought-Prone Areas of Turkmenistan”, UNDP is engaged in restoring Esenaman, which was once one of the main livestock watering places in the Garagum.

Esenaman’s gradual degradation is largely due to the destruction of dew mounds due to the negative environmental impact. As a result of the prevailing weather conditions since 1995, these water reservoirs have dried up. Shepherds began to move farther away from Esenaman, and took herds to the neighboring areas in search for greener pastures.

As part of the UNDP project, solar-powered water pumps were installed in this place to help Esenaman again become the main watering site. Using solar energy is an optimal and environmentally friendly solution in the desert. This energy is used to power pumps that pump water from dew mounds for livestock needs. Dew mounds were reconstructed and enclosed, and new drinking bowls were installed for animals.

– Livestock is a strategically important sector of the country’s economy. Timely measures to increase the sustainability of this industry will contribute to preventing a decline in the economic and social well-being in the region. Sustainability means a balance between water supplies, forage reserves and livestock number management, Ovezdurdy Jumadurdiyev, UNDP / GEF project specialist explains.

So that the shepherds can live comfortably in the cattle camp sites during the breeding season, repair and reconstruction work is carried out in the houses of shepherds. Ultimately, Esenaman must become a kind of oasis for livestock breeders.

Aina BERDIYEVA