Almaty. June 18. Information Center - Saxaul
trees will be planted on one million hectares of the drained bottom of the Aral
Sea on the territory of Kazakhstan as part of the new effort to stop dust
storms in the region, The Astana Times reports citing the Central
decision was made after a delegation of the Kazakh Ministry of Ecology,
Geology and Natural Resources visited Uzbekistan to study their experience in
combating desertification of the Aral Sea. Uzbekistan’s recent accomplishment
includes successfully planting and growing saxaul on the bottom of the Aral
Sea. The Uzbek efforts resulted in trees taking roots over 1.2 million hectares
of the sandy territory.
like to learn from this experience to make sure that the one-time measures
taking place in different locations have a synergistic effect. Now our ministry
is developing a program to solve this problem of dust storms once and for all
by systematically approaching it. Different types of plantings will be used
including both aerial seeding and mechanized planting. We are currently looking
for alternative sources of funding outside the state budget to involve all
interested parties,” said Vice Minister of Ecology, Geology and Natural
Resources Aliya Shalabekova.
saxaul trees has proved to be one of the most effective tools to combat
increased amounts of sand and salt that appeared due to the draining of the
Aral Sea. Kazakh authorities have been planting trees in the area for many
years now. In January 2021, Kazakh Minister of Ecology, Geology and Natural
Resources Magzum Mirzagaliyev shared that 270,000 hectares of saxaul forest
have been planted in the country so far. The newly announced plan will be the
biggest effort that will cover the largest territory of the sea.
In order to
protect the newly planted trees, Majilis (a lower house of the Kazakh
Parliament) is currently considering the draft of the “On the plant world” law
regulating the protection of plants that grow outside the specially protected
natural areas. The new law will determine the responsibility, obligations and
rights of all participants in public relations for the growth of plants,
including trees, shrubs, herbaceous plants.
efforts to restore the Aral Sea focus on expanding the sea’s water mirror, the
distance from the top of the wellhead to the water surface. So far, Kazakhstan
has been successful in restoring 40 percent, or 870 square kilometers, of the
water surface of the Aral Sea. The mineralization of water was also reduced
causing the return of more than 20 fish species to the northern part of the
Aral Sea, as opposed to the one species found there before.
Agency for International Development (USAID) is also involved in the process of identification of the
best practices and lessons learned in preparation for a restoration effort of
the Aral Sea ecosystem that will begin later this year.
environmental measures concerning the Aral Sea included the Kazakh government’s
partnership with the World Bank in order to secure the existence of the
Northern Aral Sea and improve the ecological conditions in the delta area and
around the sea. To preserve its human and animal health and biodiversity, the
World Bank has allocated a $1.9 grant to the Kazakh Ministry of Agriculture in
2008. In April, the World Bank, in partnership with the Global Landscapes Forum
(GLF), the Kazakh-German University (DKU) and Plug and Play, launched the
Global Disruptive Tech Challenge 2021: Restoring Landscapes in the Aral Sea
Region competition. The goal of the challenge was to attract innovative and
effective solutions to the Aral Sea eco problem.