Uzbekistan faces many problems which can be more effectively handled with the help of GIS:
Educational system due to budget constraints and other transitional problems following the collapse of the Soviet Union, teaching methods, curricula, and educational institutions are outdated and poorly kept. Although the government is concerned about this, budgets remain tight.
Land degradation is widespread due to deteriorating irrigation and drainage infrastructure causing water logging and soil salinity. Addressing this requires speeding up environmentally sustainable rural development by supporting: improved land and water use management, and land administration reform; rural infrastructure and services etc.
The heavy use of agrochemicals, diversion of huge amounts of irrigation water from the two rivers (Amu Darya and Syrdariya) that feed the region, and the chronic lack of water treatment plants are among the factors that have caused health and environmental problems on an enormous scale. As an example we should mention the Aral Sea. There is an assumption that all large underground fresh-water supplies in Uzbekistan are polluted by industrial and chemical wastes.
Rural areas: Poor water management and heavy use of agricultural chemicals also have polluted the air. Salt and dust storms and the spraying of pesticides and defoliants for the cotton crop have led to severe degradation of air quality.
Urban areas: factories and auto emissions are a growing threat to air quality. High levels of heavy metals such as lead, nickel, zinc, copper, mercury, and manganese have been found in Uzbekistan’s atmosphere, mainly from the burning of fossil fuels, waste materials, and ferrous and nonferrous metallurgy. (Glenn E. Curtis, ed. Uzbekistan: A Country Study. Washington: GPO for the Library of Congress, 1996.)
GIS is used in almost every field where geographical data must be defined, like civil engineering, construction of roads and railways, rural and urban planning, environmental monitoring, land management, mining, natural resource management and sustainable agricultural development. GIS is a very important tool in decision making for sustainable development, because it can provide decision makers with useful information by means of analysis and assessment of spatial data.
Today the graduates have to possess modern knowledge with application of advanced computer technologies skills and be able to implement GIS applications.
Background and Methodology of establishing a GIS PhD school:
The project activities are founded on Salzburg Principles defined in the Bologna Process (2005) and Salzburg Recommendations (2010)
The project adapts principles for innovative doctoral training proposed by the European University Association (http://www.eua.be)
Learning outcomes of GIS&T Body of Knowledge (http://www.aag.org/cs/bok) will be applied
OU and PLUS staff was involved in EU GI-N2K (GI: Need to Know – www.gi-n2k.eu) project. Methodology will be used in the definition of learning outcomes
After successful completion of DSinGIS a joint GIScience Commission will be formed by UZ partners. Preliminary consultations were done on this matter