«Cotton» team of WWF renewed it’s work in the frame of Freshwater TDP in 2002. basing on preliminary analysis of cotton growing in the world, 10 areas were identified, where development of special activities could be the most important for optimization of freshwater resources use in cotton-growing, freshwater ecosystem conservation and restoration. After preliminary evaluation Central Asia was identified as one of three first priority areas. WWF Central asian Programme has received some seed money for preparation of a review on cotton-growing and freshwater resources use in Amudaria river valley – and influence of these processes on the ecosystems of the region. Experts of Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan prepared national parts of the review (link to the text – and link to WWF International, where it is already presented).
This review worked as a base for development of a series of model projects, which could allow to combine sustainable cotton-growing with freshwater ecosystems restoration (riparian forests first of all). One of the projects was aimed on restoration of a necessary regime of water supply of a unique area of riparian forests – Tigrovaja balka (Taiga’s valley) in Tajikistan. In 2005 we received the first seed money for the initial phase of this project.