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Kazakhstan to launch national center for countering desertification with UNDP

30 апреля 2013, 18:39
Photo courtesy of nnm.ru
Photo courtesy of nnm.ru
A national center for countering desertification will be established in Kazakhstan, Tengrinews.kz reports citing the press-service of Kazakhstan Environmental Protection Ministry.

The National Center will be created to attract non-governmental and international organizations, local communities and business structures. “A Central Asian regional center for countering desertification will be created in Kazakhstan by the International Commission on Sustainable Development of Central Asian Countries,” the Ministry stated.

Over two thirds of Kazakhstan’s territory is prone to desertification. According to the authority, a national action plan on countering desertification will be brought into compliance with 10-year strategic plan of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification. Kazakhstan's developed strategy for transition to green economy will include a chapter on countering desertification. “Jointly with UNDP, we will create natural reserves at desert territories,” the Ministry added.

The Ministry will also work on preparation of a scientific basis for restoration of the territories prone to induced desertification. The basis with provide to use of innovative technologies in rehabilitation of the lands. “We have completed implementation of the first phase of the project on regulation of Syrdarya water level and preserving the northern part of the Aral Sea. As a result of implementation of the project, the level of the Aral Sea’s northern part has reached 42 meters (versus the previous 39 meters). The amount of salt and dust picked up and carried by the wind from the dry sea bottom has decreased as well. This facilitates restoration of biological diversity in the sea, flora and fauna at the seashore and softens the impact of the shallowing on the environment and improves the social-economic situation in the region.

According to the Ministry, the Global Bank is implementing a project on preservation and increase of forest area at the territory of Kazakhstan. “Saksaul has been planted at the area of 25,383 hectares of the dry bottom of the Aral Sea and forests were planted at the area of 10 hectares in Pavlodar oblast. The World Bank’s project on dry lands management has also been completed and resulted in restoration of 35 thousand hectares of abandoned lands earlier used for sowing crops and 105 thousand hectares of degraded pastures.

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