Turkmenistan develops special project to address problems of Aral Sea
Turkmenistan, Ashgabat, July 31 /Trend H.Hasanov/
Turkmenistan has developed a national project aimed at solving environmental problems in the Aral Sea area, the national TV channel Altin Asir said on Tuesday.
It is planned to implement the project in cooperation with the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea (IFAS), created in the nineties by Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
The Aral problem has affected the north of the country in Turkmenistan. The Dashoguz region suffered the negative effects of an environmental catastrophe resulting in pressing problems associated with the provision of clean drinking water and with salinization control of arable land. IFSA was been granted observer status at the UN General Assembly on December 11, 2008.
The new Ashgabat project provides for a large amount of work on the greening of Botendag Hill located in the Dashoguz region, on the eastern shores of Lake Sarykamysh. Deciduous trees, saxaul and other shrubs and plants will be planted here, in an area of 20,000 hectares that will become a barrier and protection from strong winds blowing in from the Aral Sea. It will help combat desertification and soil salinization.
According to the local TV media, the creation of a large forest area will be beneficial to the ecological conditions in the area, improve the microclimate, enrich the flora and fauna, and create favourable conditions for migratory and local birds. In addition, there will be new pastures which will allow more intensive development of agriculture.
The project is approved by President Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov. He stressed that "tens of millions of dollars are directed at improving the environmental situation in the Aral Sea adjacent territory and in particular in Dashoguz. A set of large investment projects including improvement of the water supply, landscaping and land reclamation and treatment of the subterranean water table is being implemented."
It isn't possible to implement the tasks of sustainable development in Central Asia without solving the problem of the Aral Sea, the Turkmen leader said at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development Rio +20, held in Brazil.
Official Ashgabat proposes to create a special UN programme for the Aral Sea, and to establish an interregional centre to address issues related to climate change in cooperation with the UN specialised structure. The Turkmen side is ready to provide the entire necessary infrastructure.