PROGRAMME FOR MITIGATION OF CONSEQUENCES OF ARAL SEA CATASTROPHE TILL 2019 APPROVED
The Government of Uzbekistan adopted a comprehensive programme for mitigation of consequences of Aral catastrophe, rehabilitation and social-economic development in the Aral Sea coastal area (Prearalie) for 2015-2018.
The document was developed by the Ministry of Economy, Ministry of Foreign Economic Relations, Investment and Trade, Ministry of Finance of Uzbekistan in cooperation with concerned ministries and departments, as well as the Executive Committee of the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea, and the Charity Fund for Protection of gene pool in Aral Sea Basin.
According to the document, the current ecologic situation in the Aral Sea Basin, in light of the drying Aral Sea, is a global problem, which affected not only Uzbekistan, but also the whole territory of Central Asia.
The document said that since the first days of independence Uzbekistan has been searching for efficient ways of overcoming consequences of the Aral Sea catastrophe and implementing measures for restoration of ecological balance in Aral Seas in cooperation with the Central Asian states and the international community.
The International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea was founded in 1993 by the Central Asian Republics, such as Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan to solve the environmental problems in the Central Asian region. The mission of the Fund is to preserve the biological fund, support favourable state of environment and improve quality and level of population life.
The Fund adopted three programmes of the Aral Sea Basin on rendering aid to the countries located around the Aral Sea in order to ensure sustainable development, improve water resources management and protect the natural environment.
It was underlined that in October 2014 at the conference in Uzbekistan, the agreements were reached on implementation of national and regional projects for US$3 billion to mitigate consequences of the Aral Sea catastrophe. About US$1.9 billion are long-term preferential loans and US$0.2 billion are in form of grants and technical assistances.
The programme envisages measures for improving the system of management, saving and rational use of resources in the region. It is planned to implement eight projects for US$1.098 billion.
About US$433.69 million will be directed to implementation of measures on creation of favourable conditions for restoration and preservation of the gene fund and health of population living in ecological risk zones.
It is also planned to implement measures for creation of new job places and provision of increased livelihoods in order to raise level and quality of life in the Aral Sea Basin. Some US$321.2 million will be directed to this area of activities
To implement measures on restoration of ecosystems and bio diversity, preservation and protection of flora and fauna, it is planned to spend US$158.1 million through 16 projects.
The programme also envisages measures for modernization of production and improvement of infrastructure to improve socio-economic development in the regions of Karakalpakstan (total cost of projects US$1.921 billion) and Khorezm (US$375.8 million).