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Kazakhstan enters second phase of Aral Sea restoration

20 november 2012, 10:15
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Chairman of the executive commission of the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea (IFAS) Sagit Ibatullin. Photo by Yaroslav Radlovskiy©
Chairman of the executive commission of the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea (IFAS) Sagit Ibatullin. Photo by Yaroslav Radlovskiy©
Kazakhstan has launched the second phase of restoration of the Aral Sea, Tengrinews.kz reports citing chairman of the executive commission of the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea (IFAS) Sagit Ibatullin as saying during the meeting of the international commission for sustainable development of Central Asian countries.

"We have successfully completed the first phase. It included resolving of Chardary issues – from water reservoir to the Aral Sea – and we have finished it. We are currently implementing the second part. It also includes technical strengthening of Chardary water reservoir and a range of river bed works on Syrdarya and, of course, restoration of the North Aral Sea: this is the second phase. According to the initial calculations, we will require the total of 19 billion tenge ($127 million)," Ibatullin said.

Besides, chairman of the executive commission shared plans on restoration of Aralsk town that used to be a port town and had an important strategic value.

"Our task is to restore Aralsk, as a center of communications with consideration of the ecological requirements and the fact that China-Europe road will pass through this town. The works are currently underway. There are huge capacities in this town, not only in terms of communication hub, but also in terms of ecology. There are good chances to restore eco-tourism at the Aral Sea shore," Ibatullin said.

Sagit Ibatullin also told about Kazakhstan's joint project with Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan on bedding the plants on the areas that used to be the bottom of the Aral Sea. "These are first of all tamarisk and saksaul. This work has been very successful, especially for our neighbors in Uzbekistan. The dry bottom of the Aral Sea is already covered in large amounts of saksaul. The wind is not longer lifting and carrying away dust and salt. Several types of animals have re-appeared there, i.e. biological diversity is growing. We welcome such steps and will further cooperate in this direction," he said.

Earlier Tengrinews.kz English reported that Kazakhstan Prime-Minister Serik Akhmetov instructed to step up work on saving the Aral Sea during his trip to Kyzylorda oblast. Saving the Aral Sea is one of the projects where the progress is closely watched by President Nazarbayev.


By Shynar Ospanova

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