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06.06.2018 15:25

Forum that unites the interests of Central Asian states

Tashkent hosts Central Asian International Environmental Forum on "Strengthening cooperation on environment and sustainable development in Central Asia".

The forum, organized jointly with the government of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the State Committee of the Republic of Uzbekistan on Ecology and Environmental Protection and the Regional Environmental Center for Central Asia, aims to consolidate efforts on forming a strategy for sustainable development of the region, strengthening dialogue between states, international organizations, business and science representatives, civil society.

Representatives of ministries and agencies responsible for the sphere of ecology and environmental protection of Central Asian countries and Afghanistan, international organizations, foreign experts, mass media workers are taking part at the forum, held in connection with June 5 – World Environment Day.

Today, environmental protection is one of the most important strategic tasks for each country. After all, human life is inextricably linked with land, water, air, flora and fauna. Their irrational use can lead to serious negative consequences. If so, each country is responsible for preserving the diversity of nature, flora and fauna of the region.

One of the most important is a water problem. Just imagine that in some country of the world people wait for water in a queue for hours, and in another country it flows in vain and is spent aimlessly. However, it is not a secret that there is a deficit of water around the world. As a result, water prices are rising every year. The main reasons for this are climate change, rising air temperature, excessive water consumption in industry, agriculture and other needs. And people of Central Asia have had a particularly high need for water since ancient times.

As the President of the World Water Council Benedito Braga noted, over the past 10 years there have been strong climate changes. This has a negative impact on the use of  land, water and other natural resources. Central Asia should become an exemplary region in application of new approaches and implementation of prospective plans for solving such problems and protecting the environment, implementing innovative projects in this direction.

The fate of the Aral Sea, which was the fourth largest after the Caspian Sea, the Upper Lake in America and Lake Victoria in Africa, is a vivid example of an irresponsible attitude to nature. To deep regret, in the 60-ies of the twentieth century, massive construction of irrigation canals in Central Asia began. As a result of improper distribution of water resources of Amudarya and Syrdarya, the Aral Sea began to dry up. Today, the dried up part of it is covered by salt. And strong wind rising in these territories carries the salt and sand for long distances. So, on May 27, a strong salt storm that rose from the surface of the sea covered a large area of the region, millions of tons of salt covered the sown areas and populated areas. This is a fact of a huge ecological catastrophe.

The Aral Sea is a problem throughout Central Asia. According to reports, 250 kilograms are emitted during the year in the Republic of Karakalpakstan, and in some areas up to 500 kilograms of salt dust for each hectare of irrigated land. From 15 million to 75 million tons of dust rises from the bottom of the dry sea in a year. The breadth of salt storms reaches 40, the length is 400 kilometers.

Implementation of necessary measures on mitigating the consequences of such an ecological catastrophe, combating desertification, economic use of water resources, protection of flora and fauna unites the interests of the Central Asian countries.

Consistent with such good goals, the Central Asian International Environmental Forum is designed to help identify concrete joint projects that can solve existing environmental problems, establish relations between producers and consumers, produce environmental technologies, reduce energy consumption, improve the technological process of transition to alternative energy sources.

Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Uzbekistan N.Otajonov addressed the opening ceremony of the forum.

Nasiba Ziyodullayeva, UzA
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