Taking decisions together
Tashkent hosted a meeting of the Donor Coordination Council on problems and ways of waste management of the former uranium production in the Central Asian region.
The event was attended by representatives of the Ministries of Health and Emergency Situations, the Academy of Sciences of Uzbekistan, “Sanoatgeokontechnazorat” State Inspection, State Ecology Committee, the European Union Delegation and the Embassy of Tajikistan in Uzbekistan.
Participants of the meeting agreed that this major regional problem, the solution of which should involve not only the Central Asian states, but also international organizations competent in this matter.
Currently, the states of the region, together with key international partners and donors, are developing measures on preventing a potential environmental problem. Approximately €120 million is needed for reclamation of contaminated sites in Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. In order to attract necessary funds and finance measures on environmental rehabilitation of former uranium production facilities, the European Commission, jointly with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, has established a special Environmental Rehabilitation Account for Central Asian countries.
At the meeting, reports were presented on the state of health of the population living near the tailings, monitoring the radiation background at problem sites, the effectiveness of recultivation activities, and cooperation with international organizations in the sphere of uranium waste management.
Following the event, a discussion was held on possible ways of replenishing the Environmental Rehabilitation Account for Central Asian countries.
Roman Bondarchuk, UzA