Session V. GIS Technologies and Modelling Approaches for Sustainable Management of Natural Resources

February 23, 2024

The sustainable use of natural resources plays an important role in the region of Central Asia. Despite the wide range of natural resources, Central Asia is still facing increasing land degradation and water scarcity. These problems are being accelerated by land-use pressure and climate change, which is particularly severe in Central Asia. 

This session will present how CLIENT II research projects (funded by the BMBF program „International Partnerships for Sustainable Innovations”) use GIS technologies and modeling approaches to develop innovative solutions for more sustainable resource management.


The policy briefs are available here.

Chair :

Dr. Peter Liebelt,

Representative office of Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, CASIB

Chair :

Dr. Maira Kussainova,

Kazakh-German University, Kazakhstan

Session partners:

Main speakers

Dr. Catalin Stefan

Technical University Dresden, Germany

Ms. Klara Dzhakypbekova,

University of Bonn, Germany

Dr. Muhammad Usman

Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Germany

Dr. Catalin Stefan is the head of the Research Group on Managed Aquifer Recharge (INOWAS) at the Institute for Groundwater Management, Faculty of Environmental Sciences of Technische Universität Dresden (TU Dresden). Dr. Stefan’s research focuses on planning, assessment, and optimization of managed aquifer recharge (MAR) applications using physical models and computer-based simulations. Under his coordination, the Research Group INOWAS developed a free web-based platform with a collection of analytical and numerical simulation tools for groundwater modelling ( Since 2019, Catalin is Co-Chair of the Commission on Managing Aquifer Recharge of the International Association of Hydrogeologists (IAH) and since 2016 active member of the Groundwater Solutions Initiative for Policy and Practice (GRIPP). Catalin has experience in coordinating and managing international networks and partnerships with regional focus on Central America, Central Asia and Southeast Asia. He currently leads three international research projects, two of them funded by BMBF in Central Asia: TERESA – “Urban Water Management: German expertise for Kazakh cities” and FARM – “Promoting sustainable groundwater solutions for rural farming communities in Karakalpakstan, Uzbekistan”. Additionally, he collaborates with partners from Kazakhstan in the project YESIL - “Sustainability of water resources in the headwaters of Yesil River under climate change and increasing water demand” funded by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of Kazakhstan.

Ms. Klara Dzhakypbekova is a Doctoral researcher in the field of Agriculture and Natural Resources Management. Since 2013 took part in different research projects in Central Asia related to Sustainable Pasture Management (UPAGES-KYR), Agroforestry Practices (MSRI/UCA and USFS Project) and Forest Management and Biodiversity (SUSWALFOOD/SUFACHAIN Project). Has a background in Economics and in Environmental sciences. Currently active as a doctoral candidate at the University of Bonn in cooperation with the Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences in Germany focusing on the Socio-Ecological Analysis of the Forest Management Practices within the Walnut-Fruit Forests in Kyrgyzstan, funded by the Friedrich-Ebert Foundation, FIAT Panis Foundation, and is a part of the SUFACHAIN Project funded by the German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). This research analyses the impact of the ongoing interventions on the forest ecosystems and the socio-economic welfare of the local population by applying the socio-ecological analysis framework to investigate the gaps and opportunities for the sustainable functioning of the complex socio-ecological system within the walnut forests in Kyrgyzstan

Dr. Ing. Muhammad Usman is working as a research scientist in the Department of Geoecology at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Germany. He is a hydrogeologist and remote sensing expert who earned his Ph.D. from the Institute of Groundwater Management at TU Dresden. Proficient in using various modeling and programming tools related to environmental sciences and engineering, he has extensive experience in groundwater management, particularly under the influence of land use and climate change. His expertise extends to groundwater recharge, automated calibration, and sensitivity analysis. His skill set also includes a strong command of geospatial data handling, GIS analysis, and geostatistical modeling. With a rich background in managing environmental projects, Dr. Usman has a keen interest in scientific networking and a strong belief in teamwork. Additionally, he is ambitious in utilizing transferable and technical skills for environmental protection.


Mr. Bakhtiyor Pulatov

Research Institute of Nature Conservation and Nature Protection Technologies under the Ministry of Ecology, environmental protection and climate change of the Republic of Uzbekistan

Dr. Anar Mukhtarova

The National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Kazakhstan

Dr. Yelena Shevchenko

Innovation Observatory, the World Bank Project, Kazakhstan

Mr. Bakhtiyor Pulatov is the director of the Research Institute of Nature Conservation and Nature Protection Technologies under the Ministry of Ecology, environmental protection and climate change of the Republic of Uzbekistan. He has over 10 years of expertise in fields such as climate change, agriculture, environmental and sustainable development, food security and ecosystem services analyses.

Dr. Anar Mukhtarova has work experience in universities (Abylay Khan Kazakh University of International Relations and World Languages, Narxoz University, and the University of Warwick) and international organizations (ACCELS/American Councils). She had an internships at Yildirim Beyazit University, School of Management in Ankara (Turkey) and in at the University of Santiago de Compostela (IDEGA Institute) in Santiago de Compostela (Spain). Her research focuses on educational management and academic leadership in HE. Awards: Winner of the "Bolashak" scholarship of the President of the RK (2009, 2017). Winner of the nomination Unitemps Student Candidate Recognition Award (Warwick University, 2020) for her work in the department. In 2019 she became a Winner of the "Sara and George McCune Scholarship Awards" (University of Michigan, USA); in 2020 received a research bursary from British Education Leadership and Management Society (BELMAS), and in 2021 she was a European Conference of Educational Research (ECER) social scholarship recipient. In 2023 Anar received a Letter of Appreciation from the Minister of Science and Higher Education of the Republic of Kazakhstan for her work at the National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Kazakhstan under the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

Dr. Yelena Shevchenko is a certified business tracker, C1 coach on design thinking, foresighter and R&D commercialization expert. She has 15+ years’ experience in innovation and actively involved in coordination and methodological support of R&D commercialization activities on the country level. Yelena held senior executive positions in the main STI development institutions in Kazakhstan. For several years she has been heading 2 National S&T Foresight activities dedicated to priorities identification and elaboration of national STI (science, technology and innovation) strategies in Kazakhstan. She participated as a country expert in several UNECE and ESCAP projects focused on innovation ecosystem development and technology commercialization. Yelena works with startups on implementation of technological innovations and is an active member of the National Bioethics Committee of the Republic of Kazakhstan

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