The current ecological situation in the Aral Sea region, associated with the drying up of the Aral Sea, is a global problem that has affected not only Uzbekistan but also the entire world. But we have the power and the knowledge to minimize the harm and restore the Aral Sea region – if we act now.
On 4 June, jointly with the State Committee for Ecology and Environment Protection of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Ecological Party and Ecological Movement of Uzbekistan, , GIZ (German Society for International Cooperation) and other partners, UNDP hosted an event dedicated to the ‘World Environmental Day: the Aral Sea, innovations, youth and partnership’ in Muynak city. The main goal of the workshop was to engage youth into a dialogue on measures on how to turn the Aral Sea region into a zone of environmental innovations and technologies.
On May 18th, 2021, UN General Assembly adopted Resolution declaring the Aral Sea region a zone of ecological innovations and technologies, through which it encouraged research and scientific advisory activities to recover and improve the environment, preserve natural resources and enhance the quality of life in the region. The resolution emphasizes the importance of enhancing regional cooperation in implementing joint measures to overcome the consequences of the Aral Sea crisis and stabilize the environmental situation in the region.
Over 60 youth representatives from Tashkent and Nukus as well as from Muynak, attended the workshop that covered a number of topics on green recovery, UNDP’s support in development of the Aral Sea region, ecologically oriented regional development, afforestation activities at the Aral Sea bed and many others. After the workshop participants joined the garbage collection in the cemetery of ships and met participants of bicycle marathon dedicated to the World Environment Day who were reaching the final destination – Muynak.
The organization of the event was also supported by the UNDP lead joint programme ‘Unleashing young people’s and vulnerable citizens’ creativity and innovation by strengthening their adaptive capacity to address the economic and food insecurities in the exposed communities of the Aral Sea region’, funded by UN Multi-Partner Human Security Trust Fund (MPTF) for the Aral Sea region in Uzbekistan.
The Joint Programme also intends to co-finance youth entrepreneurship in farming in the Muynak, Bozatau and Kungrad districts of Karakalpakstan that were selected as the pilot areas. The focus will be on building the capacity of young farmers and entrepreneurs to develop agriculture, manufacturing and service delivery, which is expected to improve the economic well-being of vulnerable communities.
Overall, Joint Programme aims to combine common efforts to create conditions in the development and implementation of environmentally friendly technologies; integrated implementation of the principles of a "green" economy, environmentally friendly, energy- and water-saving technologies and prevention of further desertification and environmental migration; development of ecotourism and other initiatives.
UNDP continues its assistance for improving efficiency and implementation of innovations in Karakalpakstan, promoting smart and digital communities with favourable infrastructure for empowering youth, women, as well as vulnerable groups of people, including people with disabilities, families headed by women and labour migrants.