Water resources management is currently one of the most urgent issues for Central Asian countries. Kyzylorda recently hosted the 73rd meeting of the Interstate coordination commission on water management. The meeting was attended by officials from Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan. The leaders of the four water management bodies discussed the results of the non-vegetation seasons last year. They also approved the water intake limits and the operations of river reservoirs during the vegetation seasons this year. The meeting has resulted in the adoption of a draft of the intergovernmental agreement on the provision of information and analysis for the comprehensive management, use and protection of water resources in the Aral Sea basin, and the exchange of information between the countries.

NARIMAN KIPSHAKBAYEV, SPOKESMAN FOR KAZAKHSTAN, CENTRAL ASIAN WATER MANAGEMENT COMMISSION:

 - The current situation demands efficient use of water. First, we need to lower the water usage in canals – the total length of which is thousands of kilometers. Second, we need to effectively use rice crop areas, and maintain the soil moisture. Third, we need to use alternatives which require less water consumption, and fourth, it is necessary to introduce new technologies. We need to address the issue comprehensively in order to effectively use the water resources.

The Kazakh government always pays special attention to the issues of the Aral Sea. The governments of South Korea and Kazakhstan are jointly implementing a project on planting saxaul trees on the dried bed of the sea. The soil is currently being prepared and works will begin this autumn.

Moreover, Kazakhstan can become a member of the Asian Forest Cooperation Organization. As part of the membership in the international organization, the Kazakh Committee for Forestry and Wildlife is planning to implement five additional projects, including re-vegetation of the Aral Sea bed.  

LEE YEN JU, SPOKESMAN, ASIAN FOREST COOPERATION ORGANIZATION:

- Kazakhstan is the largest country in Central Asia, that’s why we expect a lot from the cooperation. If your republic joins our organization, it will be a successful example of reforestation cooperation and we hope that other Central Asian countries will follow this example. 

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