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The UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Committee for the Protection of the Cultural and Natural Heritage inscribed on the World Heritage List sites of the Altyn Emel National Park and the Barsakelmes Nature Reserve as part of the transnational nomination Cold Winter Deserts of Turan, jointly prepared by the Republic of Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and the Republic of Uzbekistan, press service of the Kazakh MFA reports.
The decision was taken today at the enlarged 45th session of the Committee, held in the capital of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The deserts of Central Asia earn this global recognition by UNESCO as an outstanding example of a land ecosystem in extreme climate conditions and of the evolution of strategies for the survival and adaptation of plants and animals within dynamic ecological and biological processes. We are grateful to the members of the World Heritage Committee and the experts of the International Union for Conservation of Nature for their appreciation of the efforts of everyone involved in the preparation of this transnational nomination. We trust the new international status of Altyn Emel and Barsakelmes will draw additional attention to the importance of continuing in-depth scientific research into and efficient measures for the protection of desert ecosystems in Kazakhstan, as well as consolidating our country’s potential for the development of sustainable and responsible tourism," the delegation of the Republic of Kazakhstan at the Committee’s session noted.
The Kazakh part of the nomination was prepared with the participation of experts from the National Committee for World Heritage, specialists of the State National Natural Park Altyn-Emel in the Almaty Region and the Barsakelmes State Nature Reserve in the Kyzylorda Region with the support of the Forestry and Wildlife Committee of the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea, as well as under the International Climate Initiative and the Central Asian Deserts Initiative projects of the Michael Succow Foundation at the University of Greifswald and the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany.
The deserts of Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan have some of the world’s highest differences between maximum and minimum in air temperatures within a year. According to specialists, they clearly demonstrate the evolution and adaptation of land ecosystems to extreme climate conditions. They’re also a habitat to a range of globally threatened animals including Kulan, Goittered Gazelle, Saiga, Urial and plants such as saxaul. A few years ago, Altyn-Emel and Barsakelmes joined the UNESCO network of biosphere reserves.
In addition, during the World Heritage Committee session, the delegation of Kazakhstan presented information on measures taken in the country to protect sites on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The delegation included the Chairman of the Committee for Culture in the Ministry of Culture and Information of the Republic of Kazakhstan Kumis Seitova, Secretary General of the National Commission of the Republic of Kazakhstan for UNESCO and ICESCO Aliya Baisabayeva, experts of the Kazakh National Committee for World Heritage Dmitry Voyakin and Elina Maltseva, representatives of the Permanent Delegation of Kazakhstan to UNESCO and KazRestoration State Enterprise.
On the margins of the meeting together with the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, with the support of the Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Akimat (Governor’s office) of the Turkestan Region, a side-event was held on Heritage in Harmony with Development for Sustainable Futures, highlighting the Historical Urban Landscapes concept and commemorating the 20th anniversary of the inscription of the Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi to the World Heritage List, as Kazakhstan’s first.
At the seminar, there was a presentation of the approaches of the state bodies to the consolidation of the tourist potential of our country and its regions. An exchange of views with the participation of the expert community took place on the topical issues of sustainable development of territories in the context of the protection of World Heritage monuments.
Kazakhstan is a member of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) since 22 May 2010. The nation is a party to 16 international conventions of UNESCO. Kazakhstan has inscribed 6 sites on the List of World Cultural and Natural Heritage, 13 elements on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, 15 sites on the UNESCO Network of Biosphere Reserves, 3 items on the Memory of the World Register, 25 dates on the List of UNESCO Anniversaries. Under the coordination of the National Commission of the Republic of Kazakhstan for UNESCO and ICESCO, 9 national committees for specialized areas, 5 UNESCO Chairs, 31 Associated School and 190 UNESCO Clubs operate in the country.
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