Asian Games -2017 symbol is erected on Khasardag Mountain in Balkan velayat

Within the framework of "Ascent" project organized jointly by the State News Agency (TDH) and the Executive Committee for the preparation of 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games, the symbol of the Asian Games-2017 and the State Flag of the country were erected on the mountain peaks of Turkmenistan.

The sports and patriotic action is dedicated to the Year of Health and Inspiration, declared in Turkmenistan on the initiative of President Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov, and is called upon to popularize the forthcoming large-scale competitions in Ashgabat, in which the best athletes from Asia and Oceania will take part.

The project participants have already visited Lebap velayat, on the peak of Ayrybaba in Koytendag - the highest point of our country, reaching the mark of 3139 meters above sea level. The ascent was also made in Akhal velayat - to the top of Dushakerikdag Mountain, to a height of 2482 meters.

Now the group "Ascent" went to Balkan velayat to the top of Khasardag Mountain. It is a real pearl of the Western Kopetdag. The State Committee of Turkmenistan for Environmental Protection and Land Resources provided the assistance in the organization of the ascent. Moreover, the staff of the Syunt-Hasardag State Reserve joined the patriotic campaign to personally participate in the ascent of the National Flag and the symbol of the Asian Games to the top of the mountain. Among the group of mountain climbers there is the TDH correspondent who transmits messages from the place of event.

Majestic peaks - Syunt and Khasar, to which the reserve owes its name, in this mountainous region in the field of view almost everywhere. Between them, at elevations of one thousand meters above sea level, there is the picturesque Yoldere canyon, which was visited by the expedition members while were preparing for ascent . The gorge is densely covered with forest from the Caucasian frame, Christ's-thorn, elm and willow. You can get through the thicket only along a narrow path along the mountain stream. The gorge brightly glows already by April, is adorned with flowers of tulips and orchids, is resounded with ringing cries of pheasants.

Meanwhile, the flowering shrubs of almonds serve as a herald of the future spring splendor.

On the day before the ascent, the fog enveloped the peaks of the Syunt and Khasar mountains, it was rained, not allowing seeing the path ahead, but there was complete confidence in the success - the reserve's employees know these places like the back of their hands.

The next day, the ascent to the top started from the northern side of Khasardag Mountain - from a mark of one thousand meters. Spring reigned here, it covered the surroundings with an emerald carpet of herbs, under the shadow of the trees of the Turkmen maple - kerkava opened large white bells fritillary (Fritillaria) - the plant inserted into the Red Data Book, Kopetdag endemic. But closer to the crest on the shady side of the mountain the coolness still remained, the green grass had not yet broken through among the frail last year's foliage, and under the feet the snow crust was crunching.

These places are also interesting with numerous water sources. One of the springs was met along the route in the legendary hole of Mezetli, where the participants of the climb stopped to rest. The path to the top now lay on the very crest of the mountain. Thanks to the cloudless weather, it offers a beautiful view of the surrounding mountains and highlands stretching to the horizon.

We had to make our way between boulders of cliffs, through dense thickets of a bush in which, in addition to honeysuckle, there were spiky bushes of a Christ's-thorn and a dog rose. They blocked the way, clinging to our clothes. But the summit was getting closer, shining with a golden veil of mountain grasses on the blue canvas of the sky. Khasardag Mountain in height of 1639 meters occupies the central place in the ridge, protecting the Turkmen subtropics from the stagnant northern winds. In fact, thanks to these mountains, the unique corner of the nature of Turkmenistan is characterized by such a favorable climate. Stone giants, lost in the haze, go in a line to the west and east between Sumbar and Khojakali valleys.

The goal of the expedition has been achieved - the participants of the project "Ascent" are on top!

This moment for each of them is extraordinarily inspiring.

Exactly six months before the start in Ashgabat of the largest in the history of the country's sports games, the expedition members brought the symbol of the Asian Games-2017 and the State Flag of Turkmenistan on one more height!

As notes the director of the Syunt-Hasardag reserve Dortguly Orazguliyev, who participates in the ascent, the desire for sport, a healthy lifestyle, in which the Leader of the Nation always shows example, are the most faithful assistants in the professional work of employees of environmental department. Since they are entrusted to protect the beauty and richness of their native nature, to know good every corner of it.

The ascent took place on the eve of one more significant event - a national working event (yovar) scheduled for March 18, a large-scale greening campaign, in which millions of seedlings will be planted throughout the country. This grandiose, unifying effort of all Turkmen people, the environmental project initiated by President Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov is designed to turn Turkmen land into a blooming garden. And the employees of the State Committee of Turkmenistan for Environmental Protection and Land Resources have a special responsibility for implementing this plan. All reforms implemented in Turkmenistan are dictated by the care of people and their native land, which every year and day becomes more and more beautiful.

The route, meanwhile, continued to the southern slope of the mountain, where there are natural gardens of wild apples, pears and other fruit trees, and grow relatives of cultural grasses and forage grasses. These forms are of great value for the selection of resistant and yielding cultivars. In general, in the gorges and valleys of the South-Western Kopetdag there are almost one and a half thousand species of plants, more than a tenth of them are endemic, that is, they does not occur anywhere else on the planet.

The descent ran down a steep crest from the south side of the ridge, picturesquely rising above Yoldere. As if glinting in front of the travelers' lenses, a golden eagle circled above the gorge. The huge mountain massifs of Syunt and Khasardag, which were lifted up on the sides, underscored the beauty of this large predatory bird. The wingspan of this eagle can exceed two meters!

About a quarter of a thousand species of birds are found here. In addition to the golden eagle, these are also predatory birds, like a saker falcon and long-legged buzzard, a small but skillful hunter - a steppe kestrel, etc. There are predators among mammals as well - this is a graceful leopard, and a formidable hyena. A more peaceful disposition is characteristic for other animals inhabiting here - a mountain sheep, a ratel, a porcupine...

The staff of the scientific department of the reserve participating in the expedition told about other natural sights of the surroundings - the protected gorge Aidere, known for the trees of plane tree and walnut, cascade of picturesque waterfalls. The famous waterfall Gochdemir is located in the Sumbar valley.

And at the very entrance to the valley you will be met by the so-called Moon Mountains. They are of unusual in appearance-rounded, faded pinkish-cream or gray - almost white, more like extraterrestrial landscapes, hence its name.

Syunt-Khasardag is one of the nine reserves under the jurisdiction of the State Committee of Turkmenistan for Environmental Protection and Land Resources. They ensure the safety of the reference corners of the nature of the country, important for the protection of unique landscapes, natural and flora.

So, in the oldest of the reserves - Repetek - under the protection of the state there are exemplary sites of the Karakum and saxaul forests. The Badkhyz reserve is valuable for its hills with pistachio groves, herds of wild ungulates and the unique Yerulanduz depression of volcanic origin. The Khazar Reserve is famous for its bays and bird markets. The Kopetdag Nature Reserve presents landscapes, flora and fauna of the central - the highest part of the country's longest mountain range.

The Plateau of dinosaurs, amazing caves and deep canyons, protected by the staff of the Koitendag reserve, became widely known. Here is located the highest peak in the country - the peak of Ayribaba, which was already visited by the participants of our project "Ascent". In the Amu Darya Reserve, on the banks of the capricious Jeyhun, dense tugai forests are located. Surprising are the landscapes and fauna of the vast plateaus and chinks of the Kaplankyr Reserve in the northern region of the country.

Closer to the geographical center of Turkmenistan there is the youngest of the reserves "Bereketli Garagum", created on the initiative and on the basis of President Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov's Decree in 2013.

Its work is aimed at the protection, study and restoration of flora and fauna of the Central Karakum, the development of scientific and practical recommendations on the rational use of desert landscapes.

Thus, virtually all forms of natural ecosystems of the country, all their diversity, are reserved. It is important that each of the protected areas is also a scientific laboratory where the richness of nature is studied.

Turkmenistan makes a significant contribution to the efforts of the world community to address global issues of environmental protection. By developing valuable experience that will be in demand in solving general environmental problems, our state is also putting forward international environmental initiatives related to Central Asia, the Caspian region, including from the high tribune of the UN General Assembly.