Four bullion US dollars can be saved for the budget of the Central Asian countries through cooperation of the regional countries in the field of ecology and water resources. The statement came from head of the Central Asian Regional Environmental Center (CAREC) Iskandar Abdullayev in Tashkent at the Central Asian international environmental forum.
According to CAREC, the strengthening of regional cooperation will overcome a number of water and environmental barriers, including the reduction of agricultural productivity, the increase in the cost of energy resources and the restriction of access to international financing.
Abdullayev drew the attention of the forum participants to the fact that Central Asia has a very rich nature. According to a recent study of the Intergovernmental Science Strategic Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in Europe and Central Asia, services related to the regulation of freshwater quality only are estimated at an average of 1,965 US$ per hectare per year. The ecosystem services for climate and air quality management are 464 and 289 US$ per hectare per year, respectively.
Deputy Prime Minister of Uzbekistan Nodir Otazhonov in his speech also pointed to a number of environmental problems that Central Asia has to solve jointly. He noted that more than 90% of the agricultural land in the region needs artificial irrigation, and the survival of more than 5.5 million people depends on access to water.
In this context, Tashkent proposes to intensify work on the UN conventions on the use of water resources of the Amu Darya and Syr Darya rivers, taking into account the interests of all countries in the region, where the key water suppliers are Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, and consumers are Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan.
As the Uzbek Deputy Prime Minister stressed, the challenges faced by the countries of Central Asia are of a regional nature. Environmental pollution, climate change, water scarcity and desertification threaten the stable and sustainable development of the Central Asian region. Without the appropriate combination of efforts, knowledge, resources, the countries of the region will not be able to address these challenges.
On 8 June 8 – last day of the forum, the official opening ceremony of the CAREC- Tashkent Institute of Irrigation and Agricultural Mechanization Engineers Innovation and Scientific Research Cluster on Water Management will take place. It will contribute to ensuring the safe environmental future of Central Asia. It is expected that the Cluster will serve as a platform for the implementation of projects and programs in the field of water and environmental management in Central Asia.
Last year, Ashgabat hosted the first Central Asian international environmental forum.
At the present meeting in Tashkent Turkmenistan’s delegation composes of the Chairman of the State Committee for environmental protection and land resources, Batyrmurad Orazmyradov, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the International Fund for saving the Aral sea Guizgeldi Bayjanov, Director of the National Institute of deserts, flora and fauna Muhammet Durikov, chief of Department of manufacturing, industry and mechanization of Ministry of agriculture and water management Seyitguly Ovlyaguliev, head of the Secretariat of the ICSD Batyr Mamedov.