International conference “Transboundary environmental problems in Central Asia: application of international legal mechanisms to solve them” was carried out in Tashkent on 16-17 November. UzA correspondents asked the opinions of some of the forum participants.
Carlos Fernandez-Jauregui, director of global network for water assessment and counseling of WASA-GN (Spain):
“Our company consults on use of water. Today, management and efficient use of water resources are one of the most urgent issues in the world.
“The actions to solve the environmental problems of the Aral Sea basin states, the use of natural water resources, including streams of Amudarya and Syrdarya, should be based on mutual consent and beneficial for everyone. Issues of joint water management in the region should be solved on the basis of international norms. National interests of all countries in Central Asia must be taken into account.”
Jean-Jacques Brian, expert on health, disability and food (France):
“Human health and life depend largely on the purity of air, water and soil, as well as products rich in natural and useful microelements. However, the Aral Sea salt dust reaches even the remotest areas, and toxic substances emitted by aluminum plant in Tajikistan destroy the natural balance in southern Uzbekistan, and all this causes serious damage to human health.
“The Aral Sea tragedy has been worrying the world for many years. Tashkent international conference is crucial for the future of the region. Improving the current situation depends primarily on solving the problem of water use. Successive measures taken by Uzbekistan to settle the environmental issues serve to improve the situation. Joint effort, interaction of all states in the region and of all countries are very important.”
Isabelle Lo, chairman of the Council on the Environment (Singapore):
“The drying of the Aral Sea as a result of reduced flow of Amudarya and Syrdarya is a striking example of how disastrous the consequences can be of irrational use of water resources. It is very distressing that along with loss of economic and ecological significance of the Aral Sea, huge salt dunes have been formed on the drying seabed.
“In order to solve on the Aral Sea crisis, ensure sustainable development and improve the living standards of the people and the environmental situation, joint action by countries of Central Asia and representatives of international organizations is required.”
Onur Orhan, expert of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry (Turkey):
“International conference on transboundary environmental problems in Central Asia focused on the most urgent issue of today. Uzbekistan and Tajikistan should reach a mutual agreement on the activity of the Tajik Aluminum Company, which is one of transboundary environmental problems in Central Asia and represents a threat to human life, flora and fauna.”