Tour for journalists on water and ecological issues to the Aral Sea
On November 6-17, 2017 Regional Environmental Centre for Central Asia (CAREC) organized a tour for journalists within “Raising Awareness and Partnership for Sustainable Water and Environment Development in Uzbekistan” (UzWaterAware) project, funded by the European Union.
On November 16, they participated in a round table event entitled “Prospects of development of Muynak district. Water-saving technologies, held in Muynak and organized by the State Committee of the Republic of Uzbekistan on Ecology and Environmental Protection together with CAREC and khokimiyat of this district. They also visited the open-air museum of ships on the dried-up bottom of the Aral Sea.
Within the round table in khokimiyat of Muynak city, participants discussed the conditions and prospects of development of Muynak district in view of the realization of the Decree of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan #PP-2803 dated from February 28, 2017 which ensures the implementation of the comprehensive program for 2017-2018. A special attention was paid to discussion of practices aimed at efficient and productive use of water resources as well as the development of the tourist capacity of Muynak district.
The main goal of the events is to attract the attention of mass media and the general public to unique Muynak district, located in the zone of ecological disaster, and to the importance of introduction of water-saving and other technologies to protect the environment.
The opening remarks were given by the khokim of Muynak district Mr. Saylaubay Daniyarov, the director of CAREC Branch in Uzbekistan Ms. Shakhnoza Umarova, and the head of the Main Department on Control for Protection and Use of Land and Water Resources of the State Committee of the Republic of Uzbekistan on Ecology and Environmental Protection, Mr. Nomanjon Shokirov.
Mr. Turganbay Khojanazarov, the chairman of the Committee of the Republic of Karakalpakstan on Ecology and Environmental Protection, presented the information on “Condition and prospects of development of Muynak district in view of implementation of the Presidential Decree #2803 in part of the system of state management of ecology and environmental protection”.
CAREC water initiatives on Uzbekistan were presented by the manager of UzWaterAware project – Mr. Jusipbek Kazbekov. “Raising Awareness and Partnership for Sustainable Water and Environment Development in Uzbekistan”, or UzWaterAware, is funded within EU programme “Sustainable management of water resources in rural areas in Uzbekistan” and is aimed at attracting the attention and raising the awareness of population on importance of efficient water use and protection of environment within climate change. Among the main tasks of UzWaterAware is to strengthen the partnership among government bodies, eco-NGOs, youth organizations and mass media.
The participants of the round table also learnt about positive results of the implementation of the joint project of UNDP Adaptation Fund and Uzhydromet “Ensuring the climate resilience of farming and dekhkan farms located in arid zones of Uzbekistan”, the examples of introduction of drip irrigation in Muynak district, and the practice of water protection measures. Furthermore, the following topics were discussed: the regulatory and legal foundations of water management activities and changes introduced into legislation in the field of activities of water user associations (WUAs), the results of monitoring of terrestrial systems of the Amu Darya delta, the information on state programs on improvement of the condition of drinking water supply and sewage systems, including promising and actual works in this direction, carried out in the Muynak district.
On November 17, the journalists met with the chairman of Nukus Branch of the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea (IFAS) Mr. Rashit Koshekov. He presented “The problems of the Aral Sea and prospective ways of their solution”. Mr. Koshekov told briefly about implemented measures by the government of Uzbekistan on creation of artificial reservoirs and planting to improve the ecological situation in Muynak district, and answered the questions.
The same day the journalists had info-tour in the capital of the Republic of Karakalpakstan – Nukus city. They visited the legendary museum of Igor Savitsky that is called the “Louvre in the desert”. The collection of the unique museum has more than 90 000 items and is considered as the best artistic collection of the Asian region.
The journalists also visited Mizdakhkan Necropolis – extensive complex, established in IV B.C. It includes the Guyar-Kala fortress, several mausoleums, caravan-saray and cemetery with total territory of 200 hectares. It is worth mentioning the Shamun-Nabi mausoleum, where the huge tomb of 25 meters is located (one of the biggest in the world). However, the excavations have shown that there are no burials there, and its purpose came down, most likely, to a cult.