International Conference on Aral Sea in Uzbekistan
By M Abbas Khan
URGANCH, Uzbekistan: Approximately 200 specialists, scientists, ecologists from 26 countries arrived in Urgench to discuss the topics related to the tragedy of the Aral Sea.
It is necessary to solve environmental problems, mitigate and even neutralize the impact of the catastrophe on biodiversity.
This important international conference is still going on. The topic under discussion is-Development of Cooperation in the Aral Basin to Mitigate Consequences of Environmental Catastrophe.
It is hoped to sign few documents regarding concrete project to solve the matter. If we can not get Aral Sea as before, at least we should do something better to solve the problems of 66 million people living in the region and facing economic, ecological, cultural and health problems. Generally speakers are talking to help Aral Basin people in a positive sense.
According to data, the Aral Sea (Russian: Аральскοе Мοре) (Older Persian name as Daryâ-ye Khârazm) was an endorheic lake lying between Kazakhstan (Aktobe and Kyzylorda provinces) in the north and Uzbekistan (Karakalpakstan autonomous region) in the south.
The name roughly translates as “Sea of Islands”, referring to over 1,100 islands that once dotted its waters. The Aral Sea drainage basin encompasses Uzbekistan and parts of Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan. It is formerly one of the four largest lakes in the world with an area of 68,000 km2 (26,300 sq mi), the Aral Sea has been steadily shrinking since the 1960s after the rivers that fed it were diverted by Soviet irrigation projects.