ARAL IS OUR SHARED PAIN AND HOPE

The First Aral International Forum on sustainable development took place on the 30th and 31st of May. The Secretary of State of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Gulshara Abdykalikova, the Akim of the oblast, Krymbek Kusherbayev, members of parliament of the RK, heads of central and local authorities of Kazakhstan and Central Asian countries, heads of diplomatic agencies in RK, representatives of international organizations, scientists and experts took part in the work of the Forum.

The First Aral International Forum on Sustainable Development, Day 1

The First Aral International Forum on Sustainable Development, Day 1

Kazybek BOTAYEV

The First Aral International Forum on sustainable development took place on 30 and 31 May. The Secretary of State of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Gulshara Abdykalikova, the Akim of the oblast, Krymbek Kusherbayev, members of parliament of the RK, heads of central and local authorities of Kazakhstan and Central Asian countries, heads of diplomatic agencies in RK, representatives of international organizations, scientists and experts took part in the work of the Forum.

In opening the Forum, the Akim of oblast Krybmek Kushervayev has highlighted that the head of state Nursultan Nazarbayev noted that the problem of the Aral Sea has widened beyond the framework of one single region or country. At the moment it became a world-wide problem that it will require joint efforts of all healthy and progressive abilities of the planet.
On 18 January 1992, the Supreme Council of the RK adopted the decision “On urgent actions of radical transformation of living conditions of the Aral Sea population”. A lot has changed over a quarter of a century since that day. The country has achieved a dynamic economic development, the level and quality of life of the population has risen. Due to the implementation of the first phase of the Syrdarya Channel and North Aral Reconstruction Project on revival of Aral initiated by President of Kazakhstan, the Aral Sea now is experiencing its rebirth. If at the beginning of the implementation of the project Aralsk city were separated for 75 kilometers from the sea, today this distance has been reduced to 17 kilometers. Along with water life has come back, and the level of salinity in the water has significantly decreased and fishing is reviving. Only in the last four years the volumes of fish production in the region has increased by 65 percent, 2.5 times increase of its processing, and the export of fish products has tripled. Gradually the ecological situation is improving.
However, we must admit that for 25 years the natural and environmental factors of the Aral crisis, according to the akim of the region Krymbek Kushervayev, have been aggravated by the technogenic ones. Oil production actively developed and uranium mines expanded. The impact on the ecology of the Baikonur cosmodrome region has not been studied.

For a quarter of a century the region has achieved much in ecological, economic and social development. K. Kushervayev noted that it is unlikely that people will realize the severity of the consequences and responsibility for the whole generation born in these years and future residents of Aral Sea region.

Therefore, according the head of the region, the importance of such meetings cannot be overestimated. Together with an objective and comprehensive assessment of the current situation, identifying the most acute problems, by uniting forces in the implementation of joint programs and strengthening our partnership, the forum will contribute not only to the salvation and revival of the Aral Sea, but also the well-being of future generations. Only if we combine our efforts, and most importantly, not keeping silent about the problems, we can count on real successes in creating an adequate conditions of life, as well as to prevent negative changes in nature and ensure sustainable development of our countries.

The head of the region expressed his confidence that everyone can contribute to the solution of environmental problems in the Aral Sea region, the preservation of a favorable environment, biological diversity and respect for nature. K. Kusherbayev expressed his confidence that the Aral Sea forum will be held in a constructive manner, will unite the accumulated experience of environmental protection and will facilitate the unification of the efforts of the expert community in the protection of nature and preservation of its priceless riches.

The tragedy of the Aral Sea, as Mrs. Gulshara Abdykalikova, Secretary of State of the Republic of Kazakhstan, noted at the forum, has become one of the most serious environmental disasters on the planet, and the fight against its consequences is a collective responsibility of the whole world. Today the whole world knows that this disaster has extremely negative environmental, climatic, socio-economic and humanitarian consequences. It poses a serious threat to the sustainable development of the entire Central Asian region, to health and the future, to people living in it. The negative consequences of the desiccation of the Aral Sea once again demonstrate the importance of balancing the concern for the environment with the well-being of mankind. That is why the President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev in his program article “Looking into the future: modernization of public consciousness” focused on pragmatism, which distinguishes accurate knowledge of their national and personal resources, their economical expenditure, the ability to plan their future.

For 24 years the countries of the region have been united by the International Fund for saving the Aral Sea. The Secretary of State noted the symbolism of the fact that the forum is taking place in Kyzylorda, where in March 1993 the heads of the Central Asian states signed an agreement on joint actions to address the Aral Sea and the Aral Sea region problems and launched the operation of the International Fund for saving the Aral Sea.

Within the framework of the Fund’s activities, two programs of concrete actions to improve the environmental situation in the Aral Sea basin were developed and implemented. Currently the third program is being implemented. In the framework of their implementation, significant financial, intellectual and other resources were attracted. In Kazakhstan, systematic work is under way to solve the common problem for all. With the support of the World Bank, it was possible to restore the northern part of the Aral Sea. The State Secretary of Kazakhstan expressed gratitude to international organizations, foreign countries, experts who extended a helping hand.

Nevertheless, serious challenges and tasks still lie ahead, since the depth of the Aral degradation is quite high. G. Abdykalikova expressed her hope for attention and serious support of the international community in solving the accumulated problems.

It is noted that the forum in its work is based on the principles of sustainable development in solving the problems of the region, which have a diverse nature and consequences. Accordingly, the ways to solve them can not be one-vector solutions. We need an integrated approach, which will take into account the full range of issues related to the Aral Sea basin, including energy, ecology, health and socio-economic development.

The deputy of the Senate of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan Bekmyrza Elamanov read out the greeting of the Chairman of the Senate Kassym-Zhomart Tokayev to the participants of the forum.

The III class state adviser of the Kyrgyz Republic, the scientific secretary of the president of the national Academy of Sciences of the Kyrgyz Republic, Kalnur Ormushev noted that for him the word “Aral” is associated with the word “catastrophe”. This is an ecological, economic, social catastrophe. And in the end, it’s human, humanitarian. Participation in this forum the scientist perceives as an opportunity to contribute to the solution of this most important task.

According to the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Tajikistan to the Republic of Kazakhstan Alizoda Nazirmad, the forum is a continuation of the constant efforts of our countries to raise general awareness of the environmental, socio-economic problems of the Aral Sea area. According to the Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Water Resources of Turkmenistan Gyuzgeldy Baydjanov, water resources are of great importance for the social and economic development of the Central Asian countries located in the same region and along the same waterways. Any changes in water use in one country affects the interests of other states. Minister of Agriculture and Water Resources of Uzbekistan Shavkat Khamraev noted that it is necessary to pay tribute to the wisdom of the leaders of our states who identified a number of common tasks aimed at overcoming the crisis situation and preserving the system of environmental security in the region and, in the first place, the zone of the Aral Sea area.

The forum was addressed by Konstantin Sokulsky, coordinator of the effective management of UNDP, and Marco Kainer, head of the environment department of the European Economic Commission.

Akim of the region Krymbek Kusherbayev in his report focused on the most important aspects of the situation around the Aral Sea. So, for several decades the world has witnessed the disappearance of one of the largest reservoirs in the world. This was the result of an ill-considered human policy towards the environment and the use of natural resources, which led to an unprecedented impact on the environment.

Under the impact of one of the largest environmental disasters in the history of mankind were about 35 million people living in the Aral Sea basin. Over the last 40-45 years, the level of the Aral Sea has decreased by 22 meters, and the area of its water area has decreased by almost four times, the volume of water has decreased ten-fold, and the level of salt content has reached 70 grams per liter. As a result, the Aral has practically turned into a dead sea. The sea was divided into several independent reservoirs, and by the nineties of the last century in many places it retreated from its coasts to a distance of up to 150 kilometers.

This led to the fact that more than six million hectares turned into a salt desert, into a source of removal of salt aerosols into the Earth’s atmosphere. Tens of millions of tons of salty fine dust and poisonous salt and sand rise every year from the seabed, forming salt-dust clouds, transported to colossal distances.

Catastrophically reduced the number of fish inhabiting the sea, which once numbered about 200 species – it was a crushing blow to the local fishing industry, which employed about 60 thousand people. Villages and fishing farms were tens of kilometers from the edge of the sea. Many fishing families were forced to abandon their homes and move to other regions, to other reservoirs. The sad symbols of the Aral tragedy were cemeteries of rusty ships on lifeless shores and a bare seabed. With the drying up of the Aral Sea, in addition to environmental, a complex range of social and economic problems has formed.

In Kazakhstan, the problem of the Aral has been given a lot of attention, despite the difficult economic situation in the country in the first years of independence and in the subsequent years of the crisis. The head of state Nursultan Nazarbayev took measures to level out the impact of the drying sea on the situation in the region, solve problems and develop the territory of the Kazakh part of the Aral Sea.

Akim of the region dwelled on the pace of social and economic development of the region, which today is among the leaders in the country. Active measures to diversify the economy contributed to the formation of a new structure of the region’s economy. As a result, the agrarian region turned into an agrarian-industrial one. More than three dozen new oil fields began to be developed. The uranium industry is developing, the development of one of the world’s largest vanadium deposits is Balasauiskandyk, the industrial extraction of gold and other valuable minerals began. The activity of one of the world’s largest lead-zinc deposits, Shalkiya, was revived.

Over the past four years, 16 new enterprises in the non-extractive sector were put into operation. Currently, work is being prepared on the development of the food, construction and chemical industries. The management of the region has set itself an ambitious goal for the development of the metallurgical cluster.

Kyzylorda region today is the leading rice growing region of the country, where up to 90 percent of Kazakhstani rice is produced. Rice, produced only in three districts of the region, according to K. Kusherbayev, is enough to fully meet the needs of the whole of Kazakhstan. And the yield of this crop today is almost 30 percent higher than in 1991. Speaking about the development of livestock, the akim noted that the livestock of almost all species exceeds the level of 1993.

For a quarter of a century more than 300 new educational and health facilities were built in the region. A number of medical, diagnostic and rehabilitation centers have been built, equipped with modern equipment. Schools with three-shift training have been eliminated. The problem of emergency schools was solved.

Rapid rates in the region are developing housing construction – introduced over four million square meters of housing. 63 percent of the region’s population got the opportunity to use natural gas, 95 percent of residents are provided with centralized water supply.

At the same time, as K. Kusherbayev stressed, the economy cannot develop steadily if the fragile ecological balance is destroyed. According to scientists, millions of tons of sand, dust and poisonous aerosols rising every year from the dried bottom of the Aral Sea fall on irrigated fields, pastures, gardens, reduce their productivity, withdraw from crop rotation, worsen the ecological situation, and have a negative impact on public health. Therefore, great efforts have been directed specifically at combating salt-dust transfer, fixing moving sand, localizing the negative impact of this phenomenon on the environment. For this purpose, several thousand hectares of saxaul and other plants that easily transfer local climatic conditions are planted annually on the exposed seabed. Today, the area of such landings has reached 150 thousand hectares.

The efforts of a number of international organizations are aimed at solving the consequences of environmental problems. These include UNDP, UNICEF, UNESCO, USAID, SIDA, JICA, TIKA, MASHAV, Kuwait Fund and many others. With their support, more than 70 projects have been implemented in the region for more than $ 6 million.

And of course, the project “Regulation of the Syr Darya Riverbed and preservation of the northern part of the Aral Sea” initiated by the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev and implemented with the support of the World Bank became the most striking project aimed at saving the Aral Sea, according to Krymbek Kusherbayev. According to the akim, the construction of a dam between the Big and Small Aral with length of 13 kilometers, gave results that exceeded all expectations.

And by March 2006 the water level in the Small Aral Sea had risen to a level of 42 meters, the level of salt in the sea water began to decrease. There are disappeared species of fish, which today number more than two dozen. The volumes of Aral fish production grow from year to year, it has become very popular in the countries of Europe and Asia, where it is exported. The fish industry is once again becoming one of the important branches of the regional economy.

At the same time, the analysis of the current state of the Aral Sea basin shows that, despite all efforts, the degree of growth of factors threatening the ecology of the region outstrips the scale of measures taken. The large Aral Sea, located in the south, is dying, the water level is catastrophically falling. Accelerated growth of water salinity, which today, perhaps, exceeds the rate of 150 grams per liter. And therefore, according to scientists and specialists, in the foreseeable future, the return of the Aral Sea to its former state is unlikely.

Experts argue that the toxic mixture rising from the bottom of the shrinking sea settles on a vast territory – from the Tien Shan in the east and to Scandinavia in the west of Europe. Salt dust impenetrable film covers the alpine glaciers, giving rise to many rivers. This adversely affects the quality of water, which ultimately falls into the water networks and wells that are even thousands of kilometers from the source, not to mention the inhabitants of the coastal areas.

Moreover, to obtain high yields of cotton, rice and other crops, large amounts of mineral fertilizers and pesticides continue to be introduced into the soil. Some of them do not even decompose in nature and therefore represent an even greater danger to humans. All this poison falls into the Syr Darya, and therefore into the Aral Sea, seeping into groundwater and underground water, which are used for drinking and domestic needs. This issue is especially relevant for the Kyzylorda region, located in the lowest part of the Syr Darya, and therefore the most influenced by this factor.

In addition, in recent decades, the oil and uranium mining industry has developed widely in the region, with all the ensuing negative consequences. The situation and the negative influence of the Baikonur cosmodrome, which annually accounts for 30 percent of all space launches from the Earth, aggravates the situation.

According to scientists, the combustion products and unburned remains of rocket fuel and oxidants fall from a height of 20-100 km are carried for hundreds of kilometers and settle on an area of thousands of square kilometers. At the same time, the processes of self-purification of landscapes from rocket fuel components proceed from 10 years or more. For example, heptyl, penetrating the human body through the lungs, gastrointestinal tract and skin, affects the immune, cardiovascular, lymphatic systems, blood and liver.

Radioactive pollution of the environment, the accumulation of heptyl and its decay products lead to a decrease in the birth rate, the growth of congenital anomalies, blood diseases and hemopoietic organs, the endocrine system and many other diseases.

However, most of all, these factors have a negative impact on infantile organism. In the course of the research conducted by the leading research institutes of the country from 1996 to 2005, small abnormalities of development, secondary immunodeficiency and other pathologies were detected in all the children surveyed (and there were 6,000 of them). Half of the children have problems with the cardiovascular, central nervous, urinary systems. Almost all children have problems with respiratory organs, hepatobiliary system and digestive organs.

Based on the results of the conducted studies of the composition of the soil, water, air, the excess of chemical elements is observed throughout the territory in all areas of the Kyzylorda region. Even in those that are legally referred to zones of relative ecological well-being and are located more than 400 km from the Aral Sea.

Dry statistics, according to the oblast akim, will not be able to reflect the entire scale of the catastrophe that broke out in the Aral Sea area, talk about problems, make a point, convey the feelings of the people living here who were touched by this tragedy. Lack of water resources and decreasing the quality of drinking water, land degradation, climatic changes, the growth of the incidence of the population, especially children, the most complex set of associated social, economic and demographic problems are those brutal realities faced by the inhabitants of the Aral Sea area.

To the great regret, for today it became obvious that it is already impossible to restore the Aral Sea to the full. Therefore, the most important task that now faces us is to reduce the destructive impact of the Aral Sea crisis on the environment and livelihoods of millions of people living in the Aral Sea region, including through the implementation of deeply thought out and targeted projects.

Chairman of the Board of Directors of the “Astana” International Scientific Complex, academician of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences, full member of the International Academy of Ecological Safety and Nature Management Nurlan Sarsenbai made a report at the forum. Deputy Minister of Agriculture Yerlan Nysanbayev told about the realized and perspective projects of the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan in the Aral Sea region. Iskander Abdullayev, executive director of the CAREC, delivered information on the activities of the Regional Environmental Center for Central Asia and on sustainable development of the region. Konstantin Sokulsky, the coordinator of the effective management department of UNDP, spoke about the realized and perspective projects of the Government of Kazakhstan and UN Institutes in Kazakhstan. The report of the Director of the Executive Board of IFAS in Kazakhstan, Bolat Bekniyaz, was devoted to the implemented and perspective projects to address the socio-economic and environmental problems of the Kazakhstani Aral Sea area.

At the plenary session, memorandums of cooperation were signed.

Memorandum on cooperation on the implementation of the project “Creation of phyto-ameliorative plantations on the drained bottom of the Aral Sea and the” green belt “along the eastern coast of the Aral Sea and settlements” was signed by the representative of the Forestry and Animal World Committee of the Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Kazakhstan Galymzhan Orakbayev, the Director of the Executive Board of IFAS in Kazakhstan Bolat Bekniyaz, the director of the International Scientific Complex “Astana” Nurlan Sarsenbai and the head of the Biodiversity Conservation Fund of Kazakhstan Asylkhan Asylbekov.

Representative of the Forestry and Animal World Committee of the Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Kazakhstan Galymzhan Orakbayev, the Director of the Executive Board of the IFAS in Kazakhstan Bolat Bekniaz and the Director of the International Scientific Complex “Astana” Nurlan Sarsenbai signed a memorandum of cooperation on the implementation of the project “Creation of the Aral Sea area Center for adaptation of wild animals to climate change”.

A memorandum on cooperation on the establishment and sustainable functioning of the Aral Scientific and Tourist Complex on the shore of Lake Kamystybas, as well as cooperation in the implementation of other research and applied projects and programs for the sustainable development of the Aral Sea region was signed by the deputy akim of Kyzylorda oblast Serik Kozhaniyazov, the director of the Executive Board of IFAS in Kazakhstan Bolat Bekniyaz and the director of the International Scientific Complex “Astana” Nurlan Sarsenbai.

The memorandum on cooperation on creating the atlas of the Kyzylorda region and interactive electronic maps of the Kazakhstani Aral Sea basin on the basis of GIS technologies was signed by the deputy akim of the Kyzylorda region Serik Kozhaniyazov and the director of the International Scientific Complex “Astana” Nurlan Sarsenbai.

Mira Zhakibaeva

At the plenary session, held in the afternoon, the doctor of geography, professor, director of the Institute of Geography of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan Ahmetkal Medeu delivered his address about what research works are carried out in the Kazakhstan part of the Aral Sea area.

The concept of conservation and restoration of the Aral Sea developed by the Institute of Geography envisages the preservation of the sea as an integral reservoir by restoring the river influx into the sea by implementing a program of intensification of water use in the production sector within 20 years. The scientists conducted water-ecological monitoring of the Syrdarya delta, assessed the anthropogenic impacts on the Aksai-Kuandarya, Kamystybas, Akshatau lake systems on the criteria of water security, conducted expeditions in the Syr Darya delta. With such knowledge, scientists recommended a complex of environmentally safe and cost-effective solutions for delta water management. This is the restoration of the natural spring-summer regime of flooding delta lake systems for more efficient flooding of estuaries and hayfields, preservation and restoration of forest shrub vegetation, development of fishery production.

Speaking at the forum, doctor of biology, head of the laboratory of brackish hydrobiology of the zoological institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Nikolai Aladin noted that in 1989, due to the continuing anthropogenic regression, the Aral Sea was already partially dry, the salinity of its waters had increased very much, the biodiversity of flora and fauna had drastically decreased. The laboratory staff managed to confirm the prediction of L. Berg that the Aral during its history repeatedly changed its outlines. In 1991, the laboratory staff proposed to block the flow from the Small Aral to a dam in the Berg Strait.

In the summer of 1992 a dam was built. The level of the Small Aral rose to more than 1 meter. The growth of salinity stopped, and it gradually began to decline. The southern part of Big Saryshyganak Bay filled with water again, the Butakova Gulf was prevented from separating. This dam did not have a culvert to discharge water at a dangerous increase in the level of the Small Aral. Because of this, it broke. In 2004-2005, by the decision of the government of Kazakhstan, a new one was built on the site of this dam – a reliable one, with a spillway to maintain the level of the Small Sea at a safe elevation.

As the doctoral student of Kyoto University Kayo Matsui told, their colleague University Professor Norio Ishida for the first time carried out melioration works on the dried bottom of the Aral Sea. Japanese scientists sowed two hectares of black saxaul. The joint work of Kazakh and Japanese scientists has yielded results. Now saxaul on the seabed contains sand and salt, and these have already increased several times.

 

Director of the Republican Clinical Hospital for the Disabled of the Great Patriotic War, Zhetkergen Arzykulov, spoke about the complex rehabilitation program for the disabled in the Aral region. Its goal is to restore the disability of the disabled and to integrate them into society as soon as possible. For each patient, individual psychological rehabilitation programs will be developed that will correctly treat health and illness, raising the patient’s motivation for an early recovery, a return to work.

Anuarbek Sultangazin, President of the JSC “Science Foundation” of the Science Committee of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan, spoke about the development of the “green” economy and ensuring sustainable development of the country on the basis of using the available scientific and technical potential. The attraction of the scientific and technical potential of the country to the solution of environmental problems and the development of a green economy, support for new environmental projects implemented by research institutes and universities is what Kazakhstan now needs.

In 2016 JSC “Science Foundation” became the operator of grant financing for the commercialization of scientific and technical activities. The first contest was held, for which 1 billion tenge was allocated from the republican budget. As a result of the competition, 31 contracts were concluded for a total of KZT 5.8 billion.

Out of 31 projects, 23 have co-financing from business structures, while the share of Kazakhstan’s content in them is 85.9 percent.

The director of the Kazakh branch of the scientific and information center of the interstate coordination water commission (SIC ICWC), the chairman of the water partnership of Kazakhstan Nariman Kypshakbaev, told about the engineering and technical measures taken from 1992 to 2017 to stabilize the socioeconomic and ecological situation in the northern part of the Aral Sea. From November 2004 to April 2008, at the proposal of the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan, with the sponsorship of the NATO Department “Science for Peace”, comprehensive research was carried out to implement integrated water resources management in the Syr Darya delta and the northern part of the Aral Sea. In 2010, based on the results of research works, a monograph was published in Russian and English named “Restoration of the Ecological System in the Delta of the Syr Darya and the Northern Part of the Aral Sea.”

Thanks to the initiative of the President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev, the project “Regulation of the Syr Darya Riverbed and preservation of the northern part of the Aral Sea”, rightly called the project of the century, was born.

Within the framework of the first phase of the project, the Kokaral Dam, the Aklak Waterworks, the Aitek Complex and the dams on the Syr Darya were built. In addition, repair work was carried out at the Kazalinsky and Kyzylorda waterworks, as well as the Shardara dam. The cost of works in the framework of the first phase of the project amounted to 85 million dollars. It should be noted that this was made possible by the financial support of the World Bank.

The implementation of the first phase of the project confirmed the possibility of saving the northern part of the Aral Sea. Increased the number of fish inhabiting the sea, and, most importantly, its species. If in the heaviest years for the Aral Sea, only flounder lived in the sea, today there are 27 species of fish, the microclimate began to change. And the distance from the sea to the port “Aralsk” has decreased to 17 kilometers. The standard of living of the population has risen, it has become possible to revive fishing, to open new jobs.

Today, residents of the Aral Sea region are eagerly awaiting the launch of the second phase of the SCNASR project. As the specialists say, at the first stage it is planned to implement six out of 8 proposed projects worth 23.2 billion tenge. This is the restoration of the left-bank gateway-regulator of the Kyzylorda hydroelectric complex, straightening of the Syr Darya river channel on the sections of Korgansh and Turumbet, the construction of protective dams in the Kazalinsky and Karmakshinsky districts and the road bridge near the village of Birlik. In addition, the Kamystybas and Akshatau lake systems in the Aral region will be restored, as well as the reconstruction and expansion of growing ponds in the Tastak section of the Kamystybas fish hatchery. Then it will be the turn of the continuation of the reconstruction of the northern part of the Aral Sea and the creation of a working center for water resources management in the Kazakhstan part of the Syr Darya basin, for which the necessary documentation is already being prepared.

At the meeting, reports were made by the chairman of the public association “Shartken ata” Kudaibergen Sarzhanov, doctor of technical sciences, chairman of the association of river-keepers “Eco-Kronos” Mikhail Kalinin, environmentalist Sailaubai Zhubatyrov and others.

Participants of the forum adopted the final document, which defines further tasks for saving the Aral Sea.

* * *

The first day of the Aral International Forum for Sustainable Development ended with a bike ride in Kyzylorda on the Tsuelsiysdik Avenue to the central square, as well as a concert program dedicated to the forum.

On the second day, the forum participants inspected the reconstructed and constructed hydraulic structures in the lower reaches of the Syr Darya River and near the North Aral Sea, and also participated in a rally dedicated to the Day of Remembrance for Victims of Political Repression and Hunger.

The guests visited the “Koksu” farm, visited the regional art gallery, where the exhibition of works by artists of the Aral Sea area was presented.

In A.Tokmagambetov House of Culture a presentation of documentary, play, popular science and feature films were held: “The Aral Sea: Past, Present, Future”, “To the Last Sea”, “Return of the Sea”, “Waiting for the Sea”; the presentation of the scientific monograph “Aral” by the head of the department of water resources management of KazIWR Orazkhan Karlykhanov, the book “Aral: in search of the lost sea” by the writer-publicist Ismailzhan Iminov.

 

Source: http://kzvesti.kz

Secretary of State, Gulshara Abdykalikova took part in The Aral international forum on sustainable development

Secretary of State, Gulshara Abdykalikova took part in The Aral international forum on sustainable development

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Secretary of State, Gulshara Abdykalikova took part in The Aral international forum on sustainable development.

The akim of Kyzylorda oblast, members of Parliament of the RK, ambassadors of other countries, representatives of central and local state authorities, scientists and experts participated in the work of the forum.

In her opening statement, Gulshara Abdikalikova had noted that the tragedy of the Aral Sea is one of the most important environmental disasters and it became a clear example of what could be a cause of a thoughtless attitude towards the nature.

Secretary of state emphasized that the Head of the state in his programme article “Prospection: modernization of public consciousness” highlighted the pragmatism, which means “certain knowing of your own national and personal resources, its lowest possible use, ability to plan your own future”.

Over the years, programs on environmental recovery and solving socio-economic issues of the Aral Sea area had been taken by The International Fund for saving the Aral Sea. Kazakhstan with the support of The World Bank restored the north part of the Aral Sea. However, there has been noticed that more remained to be done.

Gulshara Abdykalikova expressed the hope for support of international community to solutions to the Aral Sea issues, further consolidation of the efforts and countries of Central Asia in this direction.

In the framework of the Forum new applied projects and programs on sustainable development of the Aral Sea area were launched, memorandums and contracts were signed in such areas as biodiversity preservation, landscaping and desertification containment, consolidation of scientific-research activity, development of social infrastructure and other.

On the same day, the Secretary of state has flown to the Karmakshy district, where she visited “Korkyt ata” memorial complex, acknowledged the work of “Zhyraular uyi” cultural house, district museum and library, and met with the arts intelligentsia.

Source: http://khabar.kz