Uzbekistan, Tashkent, August 7 / Trend D.Azizov /
In accordance to the decision of Uzbek President, the president of International Fund for Saving of the Aral Sea (IFAS), Islam Karimov, Executive Committee of IFAS was created in Tashkent, the governmental circles of the republic told Trend on Wednesday.
Deputy Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Shavkat Khamrayev was appointed to perform the duties of Chairman of IFAS Executive Committee.
The International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea was founded in1993. IFAS is an intergovernmental organization, established with the aim of developing and financing the ecological and scientific-practical projects and programs focused on ecological improvement of situation in the regions which were influenced by Aral catastrophe, as well as on solving social and economic problems of the region.
The founders of IFAS are the Central Asian states - Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
Executive Committee of IFAS works on rotational basis, moving from one country to another.
In late May, 2013, during the international scientific and practical conference dedicated to 20th anniversary of IFAS, Kazakhstan handed over the chairmanship of the Fund for saving the Aral Sea to Uzbekistan.
Kazakhstan was the chairman of IFAS for three years.
According to the interlocutor of the agency, within its chairmanship in IFAS, Uzbekistan plans to give priority to the issues of strengthening the regional dialogue on the basis of norms of international law, strengthening the potential of IFAS, improving the socio-economic and hydro-ecological situation in the Aral Sea region, as well as expanding the Fund's international contacts.
Over the last 50 years, the area of water surface of the Aral Sea, the drainless salty lake in Central Asia, shrank by more than 7 times - from 65,000 to 9,000 square kilometers, the water level in the sea fell by 26 meters, the water reservoir moved away from the shore by 100-120 kilometers. The mineralization of the water increased from 10 g/l to 120g/l, and in the eastern part - to 280 g/l.
In fact, about 5 million hectares of desert area was formed at the bottom of the former Aral Sea. During the hurricanes, the salt-sand mixture rises into the atmosphere and is spread within a radius of 500 kilometers and more, polluting the air and salting fertile land. It was reported that, the Aral dust has already been fixed in Arctic.
There is a real threat to the environment, flora and fauna, health and gene pool of population in the Aral Sea region.