Sustainable usage of water resources is key element of stability in Aral Sea Basin - U. Shukeyev

ALMATY. December 15. KAZINFORM /Daniyar Sikhimbayev/ To date we face a serious challenge - to overcome the consequences of the Aral Sea ecological disaster. First Vice Prime Minister, member of the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea (IFAS) Umirzak Shukeyev has said it at a joint meeting of the donor community, the UN and the EU with the members of the IFAS in Almaty today.

The session was devoted to the results of the Coordination Conference of the Donors within the Third Aral Sea Basin Program.

"This is a preliminary condition of the long-term economic and social development and political stability of our countries. The key element of ecological stability in the Aral Sea Basin is sustainable usage of water resources which can be achieved through joint coordinated efforts of all countries of the region. Through recognition of interdependent importance of these problems for the future of our countries, the heads of the state-founders of the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea set a task to the IFAS Executive Committee, the Interstate Commission for Sustainable Development and the donor community to development the Third Aral Sea Basin Program", U. Shukeyev said.

According to him, the goal of the Program is to improve the socio-economic and ecological situation in the Aral Sea Basin. Proceeding from the Joint Statement of the heads of state-founders of the IFAS adopted in April 2009 in Almaty, the IFAS Executive Committee has identified four priority directions of the Third Aral Sea Basin Program. These are promotion of integrated management of water resources, improvement of ecological situation, contribution to socio-economic development of the region as well as improvement of institutional-legal mechanisms.

"Under the support of the UN Economic Commission for Europe, the IFAS Executive Committee together with the World Bank, EU, USAID and other international organizations has developed a draft Program aimed at increasing efficiency of the efforts of the governments and donors through establishment of clear priorities, regular exchange of information, monitoring and assessment", he said.

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