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No. 2 (218) March 2013


The International conference entitled “Ecology of the Aral Sea: Sustainable Development and International Cooperation” was held on March 27-28, 2013 in the city of Dashoguz, Turkmenistan. The Conference was organized on the initiative of the President of Turkmenistan with the aim of considering the environmental situation in the Priaralie and discussing the lines of cooperation among the regional countries, international organizations. Representatives of research institutions, officers of the Ministries and agencies active in the area of protection of environment and water resources, representatives of regional organizations (IFAS Executive Committee, SIC ICWC, SIC ICSD, CAREC) and international organizations and missions (UN Permanent Mission to Turkmenistan, World Bank, ICARDA, FAO, UNEP, the Ambassador of the European Union) took participation in the conference. Besides the Central Asian countries, representatives of Russian, Ukraine and Belarus participated in the conference as well.

Welcome addresses of the delegations from the Central Asian countries were confined to gratitude to the President and the Government of Turkmenistan for organization of that event and the attention paid to solution of the Aral Sea problems. Mr. N.K. Kipshakbaev, the Representative of Kazakhstan, told about the history of IFAS and ICWC. The Representatives of the Kyrgyz Republic did not make reports.

The work of the conference was organized in a form of a plenary meeting and three sessions. The address of the President of Turkmenistan was read to the conference participants at the plenary meeting. Then, the Representatives of the Central Asia (CA) countries and the Chairman of the IFAS Executive Committee made their welcome addresses. The reporters thanked the Turkmenistan leadership for their attention to the environmental problems and congratulated IFAS with its 20th anniversary (Kzyl-Ordyn Agreement was signed on March 26, 1993).

The first session entitled “Ecology of the Aral Sea – a principal line of regional cooperation” was chaired by Mr. S.R. Ibatullin, the Chairman of the IFAS Executive Committee. Mr. S.R. Ibatullin reported on strengthening of international cooperation on Transboundary Rivers of CA. Mrs. K. Karibaeva covered the issues of regional coordination and support in increasing a level of regional cooperation between the European Union and CA in the sphere of protection of environment and water resources. Mr. Ekrem Yazici (FAO) told about the FAO methods and practices of land resources management. Mr. Z. Kobuliev, Director of the Institute of Water Problems, Hydropower and Ecology of the Republic of Tajikistan, the ICSD Member, made a report entitled “Partnership in a water sector as a factor of sustainable development in CA”. Mr. Z. Khalikulov (ICARDA) told about the Collaborative Research Program for Sustainable Agricultural Development in Central Asia and Caucasus (CAC).

The second session entitled “Desertification prevention, biodiversity conservation and environment protection in the Priaralie through forestation” was chaired by Mr. K. Sadykov, the Head of the Delegation from Uzbekistan. The session had mainly a scientific line where the reporters introduced the available achievements in the area of tree-planting, biodiversity conservation and land degradation control.

The third session entitled “Sustainable water resources management in the Priaralie” was chaired by the Minister of Nature Preservation of Turkmenistan. Kojakhmetov P. - About possible dynamics of a hydrological regime in the North Aral Sea with a view of economic activities and climate change within its basin. Mr. Kalinin M. introduced the participants with application of the UNECE Guidance on Water and Adaptation to Climate Change. Mrs. Yudina V. told about the experience of Basin Councils as a managerial element at local level by experience of the Kazakh part of the Aral Syrdarya Basin. Mr. Zonn I. introduced the participants prepared publications on the Aral Sea, in particular the Encyclopaedia of the Aral Sea. Mr. Starodubtsev V. covered the issues of delta landscape change under economic activities.

In conclusion, the address of the conference’s participants to Mr. G. Berdymukhamedov, the President of Turkmenistan, was read where the participants of the conference thanked the President for organization of the conference and attention to the Aral Sea environmental issues. With this the conference closed.

D. Ziganshina