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No. 5 (221) May 2013


In 2013, 20 years have passed since an important event in lives of the Central Asian states – 20th anniversary of signing a decision on establishment of the International Fund for the Aral Sea Saving (IFAS) by Heads of the Central Asian states in Kzyl-Orda. In honor of this event, a conference titled "International Fund for the Aral Sea Saving – 20 years towards cooperation” was organized in Almaty and held on May 29-30, 2013 in the premises of the Kazakh National Agrarian University.

The conference was opened by Prof. S.R. Ibatullin, Chairman of the IFAS Executive Committee, who welcomed all participants (more than 300 persons) and highlighted shortly key events in the development of IFAS. Welcoming speeches were made by: H.E. Alisher Salakhutdinov, the Ambassador Plenipotentiary of Uzbekistan in Kazakhstan, Mr. Erlan Nysanbaev, Vice Minister of Environment of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Mr. Abdybay Jalobaev, Deputy Director of the Department of Water Resources and Melioration under the Ministry of Agriculture and Melioration of the Kyrgyz Republic. Mr. Shukhrat Nurushev, Kazakh National Coordinator of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), the Ambassador at large, proclaimed a welcoming speech of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

Welcoming speeches were also made by: Mr. Saroj Kumar, Regional Director for Central Asia WB, Mr. Andrey Vasilyev, Deputy Executive Secretary of UN ECE, Mr. Fedor Klimchuk, Deputy Head of the UN Regional Center for Preventive Diplomacy (UN RCPD), Mr. Hans-Ulrich Im, Head of the Regional Commission of the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ), Mr. Laurent Guy, the Ambassador Extraordinaire and Plenipotentiary of Switzerland in the Kyrgyz Republic, Ms. Ashley King, Administrator of Regional Office of USAID, as well as representatives of Tajikistan and Turkmenistan.

All rapporteurs underlined a great significance of the IFAS activity and a very constructive position of the Heads of the Central Asian states, which created a platform for development and promotion of cooperation. The key address of Mr. Marton Krasznai, Regional Adviser of UN ECE, stated that the IFAS activity and, in particular, assumption of the observer status in UN allowed UN ECE to actively participate in strengthening of partnership between the countries of Central Asian in order to manage water resources and environmental sustainability within the Aral Sea Basin in a rational and efficient manner. Also, reports were delivered by the following persons: Prof. A.V. Dukhovny, Director of SIC ICWC, - “Prospect of improving and strengthening of cooperation on water resources in Central Asia”, Mr. F.Yu. Klimchuk - “IFAS and UN RCPD CA: tools for regional interaction among the countries of Central Asia”, Prof. P. Esenov – “SIC ICSD Activity (Interstate Commission on Sustainable Development) within the framework of the IFAS activity”, as well as Mr. L. Guy – “Strategy for cooperation development of Switzerland in the sector of water resources management in Central Asia for 2013-2016”.

Among the followed reports, it is worth to mark out a report of Mr. Espolov, the Rector of the Kazakh National Agronomic University, who with great enthusiasm demonstrated significant development of scope and quality of training of specialists – reclamation and water experts - in Kazakhstan. Also, reports were delivered by representatives of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Belarus, GIZ, as well as International Water Center, and Mr. V. Sokolov, Coordinator of Global Water Partnership Central Asia and Caucasus. All the rapporteurs particularly mentioned importance of work of first living ministers of water resources of the CA countries, who were initiators and promoters of establishment of ICWC and IFAS, - Prof. N,K. Kipshakbaev, Mr. M.Z. Zulpuev, Mr. A. Nurov, R.A. Mr. Giniyatullin and his Deputy Mr. A.A. Jalalov, as well as Mr. A. Ilamanov, former Minister of Water Resources of Turkmenistan and First Chairman of the Interstate Council for the Aral Sea Problems. Veteran-founders of the Fund were awarded with letters of appreciation and commemorative medals.

Director of SIC ICWC
Prof. V.A. Dukhovny