Sand and dust storms: a challenge which calls for cooperation

Publication date: 25 August 2021

Sandstorm in Kyzylorda. Source:

Sand and dust storms (SDS) are an acute problem in Central Asia. Due to its climatic characteristics, the region is highly vulnerable to this type of natural disaster. Anthropogenic factors only exacerbate the predicament. The Secretariat of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) assists Central Asia in reducing the risk of SDS and mitigating their consequences. In the framework of the UNCCD-funded project "Regional approaches for combating sand and dust storms (SDS) and drought in Central Asia", implemented by the Regional Environmental Centre for Central Asia (CAREC), a situation analysis of SDS in Central Asia was developed. This document is an important milestone on the way to sustainable development of the region and strengthening of the regional cooperation.

"As part of the situational analysis, experts assessed the impact of SDS on vulnerable sectors of economies, evaluated the institutional and legal frameworks of Central Asian countries, and examined the drought and SDS measures undertaken. The situation analysis demonstrated the need to strengthen regional cooperation to reduce the risk and mitigate the impacts of SDS. This in turn may contribute to water, energy and food security in Central Asia and strengthen the socio-economic well-being of the population, especially of vulnerable groups," said Rustam Issakhojayev, project manager of the Regional Approaches for Combating Sand and Dust Storms and Drought in CA project.

Prevention, risk reduction and mitigation of natural disasters are only possible through joint coordinated efforts of the Central Asian countries. The countries of the region have ratified most of the major international environmental conventions and framework agreements and strive to fulfill their commitments on sustainable development.  At the same time the integration between the countries of the region, unfortunately, remains minimal. In the framework of the project, national and regional experts conducted a number of studies and consultations, identifying the main factors of vulnerability of the region to SDS, and concluded that only jointly environmental and social challenges faced by the region could be overcome.

For more information about this and other documents developed within the framework of the Project could be found under the "Resources" section of the Project webpage:


Information about the Project:

In January 2020, in all five countries of Central Asia with the financial support of the Secretariat of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) the project “Regional approaches in combating sand and dust storms and drought” was launched. The project is implemented by the Regional Environmental Centre for Central Asia (CAREC), which works in close cooperation with designated national institutions and UNCCD National Focal Points in each of five countries.

The main objective of the project is to assist Member States in improving their preparedness and resilience to droughts and FDP, and to enable coordinated action and data exchange at national and regional levels.

You can learn more about the Project and its activities here:


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