Story | 28 Dec, 2023

Strengthening cooperation on nature conservation between Turkmenistan and IUCN

The Ministry of Environmental Protection of Turkmenistan and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) signed a Memorandum of Understanding on 11 November 2023, agreeing to enhance their cooperation on sustainable management of natural resources, protection of biodiversity, and other related issues.

"As we steadfastly pursue biodiversity conservation, our national focus remains on creating protected areas, refining their management, and addressing environmental concerns. This Memorandum of Understanding formalises our enduring partnership with IUCN, a vital ally since 1978. With IUCN's ongoing contributions to species conservation and protected areas, we are confident that this collaboration will further fortify our efforts, securing the long-term preservation of Turkmenistan's diverse ecosystems," confirms Shirin Karryyeva, an expert on biodiversity, CBD / SBSTTA Focal Point for Turkmenistan and IUCN WCPA Focal Point for Central Asia.

The signed agreement formalises the existing partnership, as IUCN is one of the few international environmental organisations recognized in Turkmenistan. This collaboration goes back to the 14th session of the IUCN General Assembly that took place in Ashgabat (USSR) in 1978 and the following year when the NGO “Turkmenian Society for Conservation of Nature” joined IUCN as a Member. Currently, IUCN experts in species conservationprotected areas, and the World Heritage contribute to field activities and research in Turkmenistan.

“IUCN looks forward to continuing to support Turkmenistan towards achieving the sustainable use of natural resources and the conservation of its unique natural values, contributing thereby to the realisation of national environmental goals,” said Boris Erg, acting Director of IUCN Regional Office for Eastern Europe and Central Asia (ECARO) and Director of IUCN’s Regional European Office. “As a globally recognised convener in the areas of nature conservation, climate change and sustainability, we are committed to continue facilitating regional cooperation on these topics, and look forward to further contributions from colleagues from Turkmenistan.” 

The signed cooperation agreement will help the signatories achieve their common goals, spanning from increasing the effectiveness of the system of protected areas in Turkmenistan, enhancing transboundary and regional cooperation, and species conservation, to the rollout of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework and the One Health approach in nature conservation in the country.

Sand desert Bereketly-Garagum Zapovednik, Turkmenistan Sand desert Bereketly-Garagum Zapovednik, Turkmenistan Photo: Jens Wunderlich