Ashgabat, 3 March 2022: Today, on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of Turkmenistan’s accession to the United Nations, the Government of Turkmenistan and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) signed a new project “Conservation and Sustainable Management of Land Resources and High Nature Value Ecosystems in the Aral Sea Basin for Multiple Benefits”, funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), which will be implemented jointly by UNDP and the Ministry of Agriculture and Environmental Protection of Turkmenistan.
The project implementation will involve a number of line Ministries and entities of Turkmenistan, including the Ministry of Agriculture and Environmental Protection, the State Committee for Water Resources, Milli Gengesh (Parliament), the Ministry of Finance and Economy, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the State Committee on Statistics, the State Commercial Bank "Daykhanbank", the Hyakimliks of Lebap and Dashoguz velayats and the Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs of Turkmenistan.
The new joint project worth 4,6 million US dollars is aimed at the conservation and effective use of key ecosystems, land and water resources in the Turkmen part of the Aral Sea basin. The project will complement the current portfolio of UNDP projects in the field of environment and energy and assist the country to introduce the implementation of relevant adaptation planning mechanisms into national planning processes and mitigation of the negative effects of climate change in the country.
The new project will also have a complementary and supportive effect on the implementation of National Aral Sea Programme for 2021-2025, adopted by the Government of Turkmenistan in October 2021.
“The Aral Sea, once the fourth largest inland sea in the world, has been gradually disappearing over the last six decades, causing water and food insecurity, impacting people’s health in the countries of Aral Sea basin and affecting regions’ climate,” – noted Narine Sahakyan, UNDP Resident Representative in Turkmenistan. “Together with the GEF and our national partners we aim to build resilience of selected pilot regions of Turkmenistan to the environmental and socio-economic consequences of the Aral Sea crisis”.
The project “Conservation and Sustainable Management of Land Resources and High Nature Value Ecosystems in the Aral Sea Basin for Multiple Benefits”, funded by the GEF, is aimed at promoting the land degradation neutrality, restoration and improvement of the use of land and water resources as well as conservation of biodiversity in the Aral Sea crisis zone in Lebap and Dashoguz provinces, to enhance the sustainability and resilience of livelihoods and globally significant ecosystems.
The project will also provide support Turkmenistan’s initiatives within the framework of the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea.