Ecological policy of Turkmenistan in the world’s press

Having steadily implementing foreign policy course, Turkmenistan holds active position in the development of balanced solutions of topical issues of today. Constructive initiatives of the Head of the State aimed at creation of the conditions for sustainable development and prosperity are widely supported by the world’s community. This is indicated by the publications in foreign press.

Popular electronic newspaper of Pakistan «Overseas Pakistani Friends» published the article dedicated to the chairing of Turkmenistan in International Fund for Saving of Aral Sea in one of the issues. Ankara Centre for Crisis and Policy Studies “Ankasam”, Turkey, published the same materials on its website.

The concept of Chairing of Turkmenistan in IFAS stipulating the consolidation of the Central Asian countries in all spectrum of environmental protection issues and sustainable development, activation of partnership of the states of the region with large international organizations like the UN and its specialized agencies and structures was presented to broad audience. Efficient and rational use of transboundary water resources, which is the key factor of prosperity of all countries and nations, is an important factor of such cooperation.

Water is a source of life on our planet. From the ancient civilizations until today, the water resources directly affect security, economic and social development of the states, regions and the whole world. Water deficiency problem arises with ever growing water consumption in modern conditions. Their solutions require the elaboration of consolidated, highly accountable and long-term approaches.

Such approaches are demonstrated by Turkmenistan that acts as a pioneer of the water diplomacy in the region, the author of the article cited, having drawn the attention at the initiatives of President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov uttered at the UN Conference of Sustainable Development Rio+20, the UN Summit on Sustainable Development after 2015, which was held under the 70th session of the UN General Assembly, III International UN Conference of Reduction of the Risk of Natural Disasters in Japan and VII World water Forum in the Republic of Korea.

It was mentioned in the article with the reference made to the speech of the Head of Turkmenistan that water range of problems is the most important and in some other cases most defining factor of the development of regional processes. Under such conditions, the regional consensus is the only acceptable platform for efficient cooperation of the states of the region including in ecological and food security, establishment of integrated system of sustainable energy and adaptation to climate change.

All of these stipulates the urgency of the proposals of Turkmen Leader Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov on opening of the Regional Technologies Centre in Ashgabat, which deals with climate change of the Central Asia and on development of special UN programme on Saving of the Aral Sea and the UN Water Strategy.

The article speaks of the history of establishment and activity of International Fund for Saving of Aral Sea, which was founded by Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. In 22008, ISAF was given with the status of observer in the UN General Assembly what made positive effect on activation of cooperation with international organizations, donor countries and ecological funds. Particularly, the Action Plan for Assistance to the Countries of the Aral Sea Basin as well as the Programme of Measures for Mitigation of the Consequences of the Aral Sea Crisis and Prevention of Ecosystem Disaster in Aral Sea Region approved by the 68th session of the UN General Assembly are steadily implemented under ISAF.

Besides, Interstate Commission for Sustainable Development (ICSD) and Interstate Coordination Water Commission (ICWC) are formed within IFAS structure. The main objective of the Interstate Commission for Sustainable Development is the coordination of member countries of IFAS in environmental protection and sustainable development of the region.

Scientific and Information Centre of the Interstate Commission on Sustainable Development, developing recommendations for social and economic development, scientific and ecological regional cooperation in solution of the Aral Sea problem is established on the base of National Institute of Desert, Flora and Fauna in Ashgabat. Signing of the Framework Convention on Natural Protection for Sustainable Development in the Central Asia in Ashgabat in November 2016 by number of countries became milestone event in the activity of Interstate Commission for Sustainable Development.

The responsibilities of Interstate Coordination Water Management Commission include the definition of consolidated water management policy taking into account the interests of all states in the region and universal standards of international law, provision of rational use of water resources and their protection, improvement of quality and accuracy of accounting of water resources and implementation of automation devices in water distribution, development of the programmes for increase of water provision of river basins and the measures for their realization, etc. Water management associations “Amudarya” and “Syrdarya” work under the above-mentioned Commission’s jurisdiction.

The activity of Turkmenistan in chairing of IFAS is aimed at the mitigation of the consequences of Aral crisis and prevention of ecosystems’ degradation in the Aral region, protection of biodiversity and sustainable use of natural resources, support of economic and social development of the nations in the region. The agenda includes the elaboration of new Action Programme for Assistance the Aral Sea Basin Countries (ASPB – 4), consolidation of legal basis of the activity of IFAS, establishment of integrated regional information system and data base for Aral Sea Basin and Monitoring of ASPB and other.

All of these will support further activation of the partnership of the regional countries meeting sustainable development.