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Kazakh President highlights Aral Sea environmental improvement

24.08.2018, 18:54 3199
Head of State Nursultan Nazarbayev has participated today in the Meeting of the Heads of the Founder States of the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea (IFAS), the press service of Akorda reported.

After the welcoming ceremony, the heads of state held meetings in a narrow and extended format.

The President of Kazakhstan underlined the symbolism of holding the summit in the year of the 25th Anniversary of the establishment of the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea and pointed out that since its first days this crucial regional platform has exerted efforts to resolve the challenging socioeconomic, water-related and environmental problems in the Aral Sea basin and the Aral Sea region.

IFAS is actively involved in international cooperation, owing to which the international community and international financial institutions render considerable aid to the Aral region. Our joint efforts contributed to the fact that the UN General Assembly observer status was granted to the Fund," Nursultan Nazarbayev said.

The Head of State pointed out that the transboundary water resources of Central Asia are the common property and welfare of all the peoples of the region, and stressed that all the states are actively searching for solutions and generating sustainable ideas and specific projects.

At the initiative of the Turkmen side, the issue of adopting the UN Special Program for the countries of the Aral Sea basin under the auspices of the United Nations is under consideration. At the suggestion of the Tajik side, the UN General Assembly declared the International Decade for Action: Water for Sustainable Development from 2018 onwards. The Uzbek side held June this year the Central Asian International Environmental Forum at a high level in Tashkent. The Strategic Action Program for the Chu and Talas river basins was adopted at the initiative of the Kyrgyz side with the support from the UN entities," the President of Kazakhstan said.

Nursultan Nazarbayev said that Kazakhstan is also making proactive efforts in this regard, and invited the delegations of the countries to participate in the eighth session of the Meeting of the Parties to the UN Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes to be held in Astana on October 10-12 this year.

The Head of State dwelled on the positive results that are now possible due to the joint efforts being undertaken.

As a result of the large-scale project 'Regulation of the Syr Darya riverbed and preservation of the Northern Aral Sea', the environmental situation in the lower course of the Syr Darya River has significantly improved. The Northern Aral Sea has been restored: since 2010 the water level has been stably kept at 42 meters, the salinity of water is decreasing, the food potential of the sea, flora and fauna are being restored. The microclimate and social conditions in Kazakhstan's part of the Aral Sea have improved. A number of fish processing enterprises, the products of which are exported abroad, have started operating," said the President of Kazakhstan.

Nursultan Nazarbayev said that during the narrow-format meeting, the sides carefully considered topical issues and the IFAS's tasks aimed at improving the efficiency of the organization and coordinating joint efforts. He also dwelt on the measures proposed by the Kazakh side.

It is necessary to improve the IFAS's organizational structure and legal framework based on the existing institutions of the Fund. It is time to automate the system of management, distribution, accounting and monitoring of water resources in the Aral Sea basin, including quality. Under current conditions, it is important to return to the issue of establishing the International Water and Energy Consortium of Central Asia. It is necessary to consider the issue of the permanent basing of the IFAS Executive Committee in one of our countries," the President of Kazakhstan said.

The Head of State mentioned that today's meeting is a landmark event of an international scale and will boost the process of regional cooperation in the use of water resources.

We have set out new priorities and tasks here. The solution of these issues is of fundamental importance for ensuring the sustainable development and prosperity of Central Asia. Therefore, all this requires us to make further coordinated joint actions. For my part, I want to assure that Kazakhstan has been and remains a consistent and reliable partner in the issues of regional cooperation," Nursultan Nazarbayev said.

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