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Projects of Milieukontakt International in Uzbekistan
Bridging the Gap in public participation
Geographic scope: EECCA countries: Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbeidjan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Belarus, Uzbekistan CEE countries: Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Latvia, Romania
Period: 1st July 2005 – 30th June 2006
Funder: Netherlands Ministry of Environment
Partners: NGOs in the project countries
Towards sustainability and cooperation in Central Asia
Geographic scope: Republics of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan
Period: 1 January 2001 – 30 June 2004
Funder: Humanist Institution for Development Cooperation (Hivos) and Novib (Oxfam Netherlands)
Partners: Uzbekistan: Ecologos, Chayot, Udasa, Zarafshan, Surkahn, Khagul, Toza Su, Poisk, Ecofergana
Population: 2,1 million (estimated in 2006)
Area: 447,000 square kilometers
Official language: Uzbek
Uzbekistan is a country of Central Asia, located north of Afghanistan. With an area of 447,000 square kilometers, Uzbekistan stretches 1,425 kilometers from west to east and 930 kilometers from north to south. Bordering Turkmenistan to the southwest, Kazakstan to the north, and Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan to the south and east, Uzbekistan is not only one of the larger Central Asian states but also the only Central Asian state to border all of the other four. Uzbekistan also shares a short border with Afghanistan to the south.
Tashkent is the capital of Uzbekistan and also of the Tashkent Province. The officially registered population of the city in 2006 was 2.1 million. According to unofficial data, the population is more than 3 million. Tashkent is located 41°18′N, 69°16′E in a well watered plain to the west of the last Altai mountains on the road between Shymkent and Samarkand. Tashkent sits at the confluence of the Chirchik river and several of its tributaries and is built on deep alluvial deposits (up to 15 metres). It is a lively tectonic area suffering large numbers of tremors and some earthquakes. One earthquake in 1966 measured 7.5 on the Richter scale. The local time in Tashkent is UTC/GMT +5 hours.
About 27,000,000 people (year 2005). Growth rate- 1,67% a year.
Since independence, the Government of Uzbekistan has stated that it is committed to a gradual transition to a market-based economy. The progress with economic policy reforms has been cautious, but cumulatively Uzbekistan has registered respectable achievements. The government has eliminated the gap between the black market and official exchange rate by successfully introducing convertibility of the national currency, but its restrictive trade regime and generally interventionist policies continue to have a negative effect on the economy. Substantial structural reform is needed, particularly in the area of improving the investment climate for foreign investors, strengthening the banking system, and freeing the agricultural sector from state control. Remaining restrictions on currency conversion capacity and other government measures to control economic activity, including the implementation of severe import restrictions and sporadic closures of Uzbekistan’s borders with neighboring Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan have led international lending organizations to suspend or scale back credits.
Main natural resources
Natural gas, petroleum, coal, gold, uranium, silver, copper, lead and zinc, tungsten, molybdenum.
Uzbekistan’s climate is classified as continental, with hot summers and cool winters. Summer temperatures often surpass 40°C; winter temperatures average about -2°C, but may fall as low as -40°C. Most of the country also is quite arid, with average annual rainfall amounting to between 100 and 200 millimeters and occurring mostly in winter and spring. Between July and September, little precipitation falls, essentially stopping the growth of vegetation during that period.
Drying up of the Aral Sea is resulting in growing concentrations of chemical pesticides and natural salts; these substances are then blown from the increasingly exposed lake bed and contribute to desertification; water pollution from industrial wastes and the heavy use of fertilizers and pesticides is the cause of many human health disorders; increasing soil salination; soil contamination from agricultural chemicals, including DDT