PRESS OF UZBEKISTAN
May 27, 2016
INTERACTION IN MITIGATING THE ARAL SEA DISASTER
An exchange of notes is conducted between the governments of Uzbekistan and China in the direction of the complex expedition of Chinese experts to examine projects under the \"Programme of Action on Assistance for the Aral Sea basin countries for 2011-2015\".
Conducting the all-inclusive expedition will be carried out at the expense of grant aid in accordance with the Agreement between the governments of Uzbekistan and the People\'s Republic of China on technical-economic cooperation dated November 3, 2007.
At the end of the expedition, the Chinese experts are planning to sel ect priority projects aimed at improving the environmental and socio-economic situation in the Aral Sea area for the subsequent preparation of feasibility studies and their gradual implementation.
The purpose of the planned projects is to mitigate environmental tension in the Aral Sea region through the establishment of forest belts from large shrubs that allows to reduce salt and dust removal, restore biodiversity, develop fish farming sector.
These initiatives are part of the Comprehensive Program of measures on mitigating the aftermaths of the Aral Sea disaster, rehabilitation and socio-economic development of the Aral Sea region in the years 2015-2018 approved by the Cabinet of Ministers on August 29, 2015.
It is noteworthy that the achievement of such important agreements with China took place during the presidency of Uzbekistan in the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea. From August 2013 during the presidency of Uzbekistan in the Executive Committee of IFAS it was carried out extensive work on drawing attention and consolidating the efforts of the international community for the realization of joint practical actions, programs and projects.
They are aimed at reducing the negative consequences fr om drying up of the Aral Sea, environmental protection and rational use of water resources in the region, as well as improving the living conditions of the population.
One of the most important events was the International Conference “Development of cooperation in the region of the Aral Sea to mitigate consequences of the ecological catastrophe” in Urgench which was attended by representatives of IFAS founder states, international organizations and financial institutions, donor governments, environmental organizations, the diplomatic corps, as well as authoritative scientists and experts. This forum is designed to mobilize the international community for the implementation of programs and projects aimed at improving the environmental and socio-economic situation in the Aral Sea region, as well as the further development of international cooperation to reduce the negative effects of the environmental disaster.
At the end of the conference the government of Uzbekistan, Executive Committee of IFAS, relevant ministries and agencies have signed a number of official documents on further cooperation and implementation of specific projects aimed at stabilization of socio-ecological and economic situation in the Aral Sea crisis area with international organizations and donors.
In particular, agreements have been reached to attract preferential long-term loans totaling $ 1.9 billion and for the provision of $ 0.2 billion in the form of grants and technical assistance funds.
An increased activity on the implementation of various projects and programs in cooperation with foreign partners in the improvement of the ecological situation in the Aral Sea area is the result of conducted actions, \"round tables\", seminars, as well as a number of meetings and negotiations with representatives of international and donor organizations, financial institutions.
The signing of the relevant documents with the Chinese side is another shining example of the Uzbekistan’s success in the period of its chairmanship in the IFAS in attracting the attention and efforts of the international community on the urgent need to respond to the challenges of environmental and social security-related tragedy of the Aral sea.
(Source: «Business partner.uz» newspaper)