More than 70% of Uzbekistan's 31.4 million ha is arid and semi-arid, prone to natural salinization, sand drifts, dust storms, and hot, dry winds. Sustainable development requires addressing drought and Sand and Dust Storms (SDSs). Shifting sands cover more than 1 million acres of irrigated regions, causing desertification. Water erosion is equally destroying 1 million hectares of farmland yearly. Uzbekistan has therefore become proactive in the UN Convention to Combat Desertification and Drought (UNCCD). Uzbekistan has taken steps to mitigate drought and desertification with UNCCD's help however, no document has been adopted outlining SDS impact metrics and tasking relevant agencies. This National Action Plan to prevent and mitigate SDS Impacts includes a comprehensive analysis of the reasons for the major SDS center's emergence across the country and defines priority actions to combat alongside tabling measures to mitigate the social and economic impacts of SDS.  The National Action Plan to Prevent and Mitigate SDS Impacts in Uzbekistan is in line with all national and sectoral strategies and programmes, including the Strategy on the Five Priority Development Directions of the Republic of Uzbekistan in 2017-2021, approved by Presidential Decree No. 4947 on February 7, 2017; the Concept for the Development of Forests in Uzbekistan until 2030 and many others.

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