Environment protection has been defined as a priority of the government policy pursued by President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov. This vector is also specified among the main aspects of foreign course of Turkmenistan. Being an active members of international dialog in this direction, our country stands for intensification and expansion of positive cooperation with all interested partners, especially in the United Nations format.
Ratified environment protection documents of the UN about biological diversity, on combating desertification, climate change, protection of ozone layer, protection and use of transboundary water courses and international lakes, protection of the UNESCO world cultural and natural heritage, Framework Convention on protection of Caspian Sea environment and Ramsar Convention on wetlands as well as dozens of projects implemented with the UN Development Programme, UN Environment Programme, Global Ecological Fund are bright examples of this.
Importance of constructive initiatives proposed by President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov at various high-level forums, which received wide support of the world community, are worth to be mentioned.
In particular, these are proposals on opening of the Regional Centre of Technologies related to the climate change in Central Asia in Ashgabat, on development of the UN Water Strategy, the UN Special Programme for Aral Sea basin and placing of Aral Sea problem in separate direction of the UN activity, protection of ecological wealth of Caspian Sea and many others.
Our country takes specific measures for their practical implementation, first of all forming reliable legal base. This is indicated by the Constitution of Turkmenistan, which set forth the provision on the government control of rational use of natural resources and environment protection.
National legislation is also permanently improved according to time demands and recognized international standards. The Forest Code, Laws on Natural Protection, on Specially Protection Natural Territories, on Protection of Ozone Layer, on Fishery and Protection of Aquatic biological Resources, on Fauna, on Flora and other have been adopted in the last years.
Big work is carried out under National Strategy for Climate Change and National Forest Programme of Turkmenistan as well as other major social and economic programmes in environment protection sphere and protection of biological diversity and natural landscapes.
At the same time, supporting the efforts of the world community in reduction of greenhouse gas emission, steadfast transit to use of modern eco-friendly and resource saving technologies in industrial sector is carried out steadily.
The fact of technical rearmament of facilities of fuel and energy, textile and other complexes can be brought as specific example. Construction of new, refurbishment and modernization of existing facilities of production infrastructure is carried out using advanced technologies and technical solutions allowing preventing harm to the environment.
Turkmenistan actively expands productive cooperation with all interested partners in solution of such important issues as improvement of ecology of Aral Sea region and adaptation to the climate change.
Problems of Aral Sea have special currency these days. Ecological catastrophe, which came up as a result of irrational use of water resources, has affected living conditions of millions of people living in this region and far beyond its border. At the same time, the danger is represented by air masses, which form up in this area, making negative impact on nature, climate and health of people.
In his speeches at various forums, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov focuses that it is hard to speak about sustainable development in Central Asia without solution of this issue. The Head of the State thinks that the efforts of the countries in the region on national level are not sufficient enough today and require support of the world community, in particular, integrated approach, active and systematic participation of the United Nations Organization is required.
Adoption of the UN General Assembly’s Resolution on provision of the observer status to International Fund for Saving of Aral Sea in the UN in December 2008 was a milestone event, which confirmed planetary character of Aral Sea crisis and necessity of mobilization of international efforts for its recovery.
In this context, it is worth to mention that special attention is paid to the activity of IFAS where Turkmenistan has chaired in 2017 – 2019.
Constructive position and steadfast measures taken by Turkmenistan in this direction find wide support of the world community. This is visually indicated by the Resolutions on Cooperation between the United Nations Organization and International Fund for Saving of Aral Sea, the first of which was unanimously adopted at the 82nd session of the 72nd UN General Assembly in April 2018 and the second one at the 85th session of the 73rd UN General Assembly in May 2019.
These documents lay down importance of strengthening of cooperation and coordination between the UN and IFAS as well as express full support to the outcomes of the Summit of the Head of the States – Founders of this structure, which was held in Avaza National tourist zone on August 24, 2018.
At present time, work for improvement of environment in Aral Sea region is continued in the following directions: integrated use of water resources, ecological, social and economic directions, improvement of institutional and legal mechanisms.
Establishment of reliable system of ecological protection of Caspian Sea, which is provided by its special status, is among priority objectives of natural protection strategy of Turkmen state.
This biggest water reserve of the planet, which is isolated from the ocean, is a true natural pearl with exclusively varied flora and fauna. Many representatives of flora and fauna of Caspian Sea are endemics and make up priceless gene pool of biological diversity of the planet.
Beneficial geographic location on the intersection of sea, air, motor roads of international Europe – Caucasus – Asia transport corridor, richest hydrocarbon, fish and other resources, favourable climate conditions have made dynamically developing industrial, transport and resort centre from Caspian region, which is given a big role in the world economy.
In the last years, Turkmenistan carries out big work in this direction on national level proposing new approaches in solution of existing and prevention of possible ecological problems on Caspian Sea in close cooperation with its neighbours and partners as well as with competent organizations, especially with the United Nations.
According to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, Turkmenistan solves all objectives for provision of ecological balance in Caspian Sea and natural protection. This is indicated by construction of modern health resorts, hotels and industrial facilities at the Caspian coast. Compliance with international standards of ecological safety is one of the main criteria of construction.
Turkmenbashy International Seaport, Garabogazkarbamid Plant, polymeric plant in Kiyanly and number of other complexes awarded with certificates of competent organizations proving safety of these facilities for the environment are worth to be mentioned among examples.
The achievement of this goal is supported by major tree planting work, which results in formation of manmade evergreen forests, new park zones, microclimate, which make favourable effect on the health of population and tourists in Avaza National tourist zone.
Continuing the subject, it is important to highlight the currency of initiatives of the Head of Turkmenistan proposed at the First Caspian Economic Forum in August 2019. In his speech, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov has focused on global importance of this region.
At the same time, special emphasis has been laid on protection of unique ecosystem of the sea, which has no analogues around the planet. Speaking for development of new Caspian Ecological Programme as a complex of environment protection measures aimed at rational use of rich natural resources of the sea, Turkmen leader said: “We are confident that the ecology cannot be a hostage of economic and commercial benefits”.
In this context, it was proposed to establish efficient channels of ‘green diplomacy’ for Caspian Sea with attraction of the countries, international agencies, ecological centres and mass media to this activity.
It is generally known that today, ecological issues are priorities of the global Agenda as they are directly related to the future of civilization. Therefore, initiatives of the Head of the State, who thinks of Caspian Sea as of one of the directions of the UN Strategy until 2030 in geographic, social and economic aspects, have been supported by the participants and guests of the First Caspian Economic Forum.
It is important to mention that adoption of the Statement by the presidency on the outcomes of the First Caspian Economic Forum as a document of the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly and publishing of this Statement in the UN official languages was a confirmation of recognition of the currency of international initiatives of the Head of the State and growing authority of our independent and neutral country.
Grandiose water management projects providing innovative approach to solution of land reclamation issues, which are implemented in the last years, are examples of efficient activity of our country in natural protection sphere. Reforms in this field have become an important vectors of fundamental changes in the regions, which are to bring agricultural level and life quality of rural citizens to new level of development.
Introduction of saving technologies and scientific developments, wide implementation of advanced practice during construction of various facilities including infrastructural objects are the main aspects of large-scale programmes in this sphere.
Steam and gas power station in Mary, which innovative character, economic efficiency and ecological safety are proven by certificates of Swiss Federal Technological Institute, Max Plank Energy Institute and American Fund of Healthy Ecology, is among engineering and technical developments of new generation.
Having big experience in successful farming and water management in arid zone, Turkmenistan is in the front line of scientific studies in this sphere urging other states to similar rational use of water resources. In this context, it is important to mention the significance of realization of the project of construction of Altyn Asyr Turkmen Lake.
This unique water facility made in Central Karakums make favourable effect on climate improvement of one of the biggest deserts on the planet enriching its flora and fauna and supports positive changes in ecology of entire region.
Project of construction of social and production complex in Ak Yayla located in the area of Altyn Asyr Turkmen Lake also meets ‘green’ principles of formation of living environment.
New settlement will have all capabilities for activity of young scientists, researchers and developers, innovators and testers. Studies in the sphere of development of ‘smart’ farming and modern methods of livestock and fishery production, opening of waster free industrial facilities will be on high demand.
Continuing the subject, it is worth to mention the importance of the Concept of development of the region of the lake in 2019 – 2025 and Action Plan of its implementation, which were approved by relative Resolution of the Head of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov last year.
Complex of works for rational use of Turkmen lake, development of Karakum desert, formation of forest zones, expansion of pasture territories, construction of new settlements in surrounding territory and long water drainage collectors is provided according to the documents.
The significance of this project is related with the fact that new production facilities will be coordinated with scientific studies aimed at increment of biological diversity of flora and fauna, improvement of ecological condition in the region, cleaning and efficient use of water from the lake.
Due to special attention paid by President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov to popularization of unique natural reserve zones of Karakum Desert, the country works on inclusion of them to the UNESCO World Heritage List.
At present, there are 9 natural reserves, 16 national parks and more than 15 natural monuments in Turkmenistan. These complexes, which remained bright evidence of natural evolution, geological development of the planet, are historical birth places for many rare species of flora and fauna, which has exclusive value for provision of ecological balance and sustainable development.
The main goal of these facilities is to support biological diversity and study gene pool of flora and fauna, unique landscapes, form up conditions for provision of normal flow of natural processes and occurrences.
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