On 12-13 May an international conference devoted to the preparation for the 6th World Water Forum was held in Tashkent. UzA correspondents talked to some of the participnts.
Bo Libert, Regional Adviser of UN European Economic Commission on the Environment:
“Our organization works closely with the countries of Central Asia, in particular, with Uzbekistan. In this region, the water problem is urgent, therefore, holding this international forum has been very helpful. The conference addressed the most pressing issues related to water security, management of water resources.
Water is the source of life. Deeply aware of this, Uzbekistan pays attention to the development of water management. It is well known to the international community.
Insiccation of Aral Sea is an incredible environmental disaster. This causes a range of socio-economic problems. Measures taken by Uzbekistan are improving the situation. But to solve the problem, all countries should take joint action in this direction. After all, if the Aral problem is not resolved, the consequences will hit not only the population of that territory, but countries around the world.”
Tahir Shamshad, Deputy Mayor of Islamabad (Pakistan):
“Currently, the relevance of the water problem is understood by all countries. This, of course, requires regional cooperation. The countries in the region should work together to address the issues of rational use of water, its protection, eliminating the causes of drying up of once unique beauty of the Aral Sea. With involvement of modern technologies, the scale of water problem has dropped considerably.
Huge negative impact of the Aral Sea tragedy on the ecosystem of the whole region is obvious. To stabilize the environmental situation in the region the international attention should be involved to this matter.”
Janusz Kindler, a professor of water resources and ecosystems of Warsaw Technical University (Poland):
“For many years I have been working in Uzbekistan and I am well informed about water issues in the region. I am aware of what kind of work is being done by the government of Uzbekistan to improve the living conditions in Aral Sea area. However, full stabilization of the complicated situation, and solution of serious problems do not depend only on Uzbekistan.
The conference discussed the issues of enhancing cooperation through the sharing of water resources management in Central Asia, climate change in the Aral Sea region, the negative impact of large industrial plants on the environment and other pressing environmental issues.”
Oksana Boyarkina, representative of the Institute of Water Problems of Russian Academy of Science:
“When using the transboundary rivers, one should strictly observe the international legal instruments. Some governments in the region and international organizations need to integrate actions to address transboundary environmental problems and reduce environmental threats.
Conducting this conference in Tashkent is important. Here we got a lot of new and useful information to address the problems associated with the use of transboundary rivers. Everyone knows that the president of Uzbekistan put forward new initiatives to address these issues and large-scale studies have been done already. From this perspective, the welcome note by President Islam Karimov to the participants of the conference further raised the status of the forum.”