Andrey Vasilyev, UNECE Deputy Executive Secretary, and Saghit Ibatullin, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea (IFAS), presented a regional project on the forestation of the dry bed of the Aral Sea on 12 October, at the joint session of the UNECE Timber Committee and the FAO European Forestry Commission "Orman 2011, Forests in a green economy".
The project, elaborated by the governments of Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan builds on on-going efforts of these governments to roll back environmental degradation and help achieve environmental sustainability in the Aral Sea Basin.
Desertification has had a dramatic impact on Central Asia. Every year, winds carry some 70 million tons of sand, salt and dangerous chemicals from the bed of the Aral Sea into the atmosphere. These pollutants are spread thousands of kilometers away from the region.
The forestation of tens of thousands of hectares of the dry bed of the Aral Sea will roll back environmental degradation and help thousands of families to return to the region and restart economic activities.
The project is an important component of the Third Aral Sea Basin Programme, a five year programme of action of IFAS to improve environmental, social and economic conditions in the region.
UNECE provides assistance to the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea in the field of water resources management, environment protection and climate change adaptation.
For further information, please visit, http://www.ec-ifas.org/
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