On 23rd November 2007, a meeting took place in Nukus, Karakalpakstan, Uzbekistan, entitled “Saiga conservation: methods for effective conservation of the Ustyurt saiga population in Uzbekistan”. Representatives from the State Committee for Nature Protection at the national and the regional levels were present, as well as the Saiga Conservation Alliance, the Institute of Zoology of the Uzbekistan Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Bio-Ecology of the Karakalpakstan Branch of the Uzbekistan Academy of Sciences, the Karakalpakstan State University, UNDP, the Customs Committee of the Republic of Karakalpakstan, the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Republic of Karakalpakstan and the media.

The meeting programme included fruitful discussion about saiga conservation in Uzbekistan, in accordance with the medium term work programme (MTWP) of the MoU on saiga conservation under the Convention on Migratory Species. Participants in the meeting gave concrete ideas on strengthening the efficiency of saiga conservation in Uzbekistan, and emphasised that only a range of measures and close interaction between all interested parties will give a positive effect.

The meeting resolved:

1. To carry out the MTWP of the MoU on saiga conservation.
2. To review the plan of action for saiga conservation in Uzbekistan being carried out by the State Committee for Nature Protection of the Republic of Uzbekistan (RUz) and its regional branch based in the Republic of Karakalpakstan (RK) (Action: State Committee on Nature Protection, Timing: before 8th February 2008)
3. To developa detailed Action Plan for the conservation of the Ustyurt saiga population and its habitats and approve it in the State Committee for Nature Protection, RUz (Action: State Committee for Nature Protection, RK, Ministry of Internal Affairs, RK, Customs Committee, RK, Border guards of the RK, State Tax Committee, RK, Department of Forestry of the Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Timing: before December, 15th 2007)
4. To assist in consideration of the signing of an inter-governmental bilateral agreement on saiga conservation between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan (Action: Foreign Department of the State Committee for Nature Protection, RUz, Timing: before January 1st 2008)
5. To recommend the listing of the saiga in the Red Data Book (RDB) of the RUz and prepare the appropriate documents for submission to the RDB Interdepartmental commission (Action: Institute of Zoology, RUz, State Committee for Nature Protection, RUz).
6. To recommend to State Committee for Nature Protection, RUz, that they consider a reorganization of the existing Protected Area (Saigachy zakaznik) according to the law “On natural protected areas” (including its location, status, organisation, etc.). (Action: State Committee for Nature Protection, RUz and RK, Ministerial council, RK, Forestry Department, RUz, Academy of Sciences RUz, Timing: before December 30th 2008).
7. To carry out an annual aerial survey of the Ustyurt saiga population (Action: State Committee for Nature Protection, RUz, Institute of Zoology, RUz, Saiga Conservation Alliance, Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources, RUz, Timing: before December, 10th 2007).
8. To define an approach to developing captive breeding methods for the saiga at the «Jeiran» Ecocentre or the unused Ustyurt field station of the Karakalpakstan Branch of the Academy of Sciences, RUz (Action: «Jeiran» Ecocentre, State Committee for Nature Protection, RUz, Karakalpakstan Branch of the Academy of Sciences, RUz).
9. To recommend to the State Committee for Nature Protection, RUz and RK, that they develop proposals for mutually beneficial cooperation with the companies developing the Ustyurt region (primarily the oil and gas companies).
10. To organize a workshop on biodiversity conservation of the Ustyurt region, Uzbekistan, with the aim of involving foreign investors (Action: State Committee for Nature Protection, RUz and RK).
11. To submit proposals to the GEF and other donors on biodiversity conservation of the Ustyurt region as one of the Republic of Uzbekistan’s national priorities (Action: State Committee for Nature Protection, RUz, Saiga Conservation Alliance, Academy of Sciences RUz).
12. To develop an educational programme on saiga conservation among local people (Action: State Committee for Nature Protection, RUz and RK, Ministry of Education RK, local NGOs, Karakalpakstan Branch of the Academy of Sciences, RUz, Saiga Conservation Alliance).
13. To monitor implementation of the MTWR of the MoU on saiga conservation (Action: State Committee for Nature Protection, RUz, Saiga Conservation Alliance).
14. For the Saiga Conservation Alliance to join the State Committee for Nature Protection, RUz and RK, as an institutional member.

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