Another 10 thousand hectares of the bottom of the drying Aral Sea will be planted with saxaul. At the moment, this desert plant has already been planted on 57 thousand hectares of the former seabed. The work is carried out within the framework of the project “Forest conservation”, which has been implemented by Kazakhstan and the World Bank since 2008.
The organizers are counting on this project to “kill two birds with one stone”: save the saxaul itself, which is mercilessly cut down for fuel and animal feed, and also strengthen the dried bottom of the world’s fourth largest lake. The revival of the Aral Sea may take more than a decade. And saxaul plantations on the dried bottom can significantly improve the complex ecological situation in the Aral Sea region.
The ban on the cutting of saxaul in areas of state forest funds was introduced in Kazakhstan in the early 2000s, and recently the cutting of saxaul was banned for another five years.
The Aral Sea has been drying up since the 60s of the last century. This became a real ecological catastrophe for the countries of Central Asia, which had a negative effect on the economic and ecological condition of the region.
Turkmenistan, currently the chairman of the International Fund for the Aral Sea, also faced with the problem of preserving saxaul. Residents of the country once used this plant as fuel. This problem was solved with the help of natural gas. Turkmenistan headed for the full gasification of villages. Now even in the most remote settlements of the country natural gas has come, and with it another quality of life.
And what about saxaul? The fact is that the villagers appreciated natural gas, and now, according to the testimony of environmentalists, Saxaul forests have appeared in the Turkmen Karakum desert.