ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan, Dec. 16
By Huseyn Hasanov – Trend:
A regional conference on water issues will be held in Ashgabat Dec. 17-18, Trend reports referring to the Turkmenistan State News Agency.
The forum, which will be held with the participation of the UN Regional Center for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia, envisages participation of experts from the countries of the region and international organizations specializing in this field, as well as in such areas as environmental protection and climate change.
The key goal of the conference is to consider the possibilities of creating a task force, coordinated by the UN, to implement water-energy cooperation in Central Asia on a systematic basis, the report said.
In addition, discussion will be held on issues related to the mechanisms of interaction among the states of the region in this direction, the development of the appropriate legal framework, the active use of innovative water-saving technologies, etc.
On Dec. 18, consultations will be held in Ashgabat on the development of a UN special program for the countries of the Aral Sea region.
In Central Asia, the main sources of water resources used for agriculture and industry, electricity production and supplying the population with drinking water are rivers, and almost all of them are transboundary.
Turkmenistan borders with Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Iran and Afghanistan and uses water resources coming in accordance with the agreed quotas from four transboundary rivers Amu Darya, Tejen, Atrek and Murghab.
With the founding from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea (IFAS) was established in the 1990s with the aim to finance joint projects and programs to save the Aral Sea and improve the environmental situation in the Aral Sea region.
IFAS obtained the observer status in the UN General Assembly in December 2008.
The special attention is paid to improving the regional action plan for environmental protection in Central Asia and accelerating the process of accession of the regional countries to the Framework Convention on Environmental Protection for Sustainable Development in Central Asia within IFAS.
Turkmenistan is affected by the problem of Aral Sea's ecology. It is most noticeable in the country’s northern Dashoguz Region, where problems have arisen with the provision of drinking water, the fight against salinization of cultivation lands, land degradation and desertification.