Development of the 4th Action Programme to assist the countries of the Aral Sea basin

The Executive Committee of the International Fund for saving the Aral Sea intensifies the work in a number of directions in accordance with the work plan approved by the Fund Executive Board. The preparatory measures to promote the accession to the Framework Convention for the Protection of the Environment for Sustainable Development in Central Asia (Ashgabat) in the region have been launched. This document is currently signed by Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan. After the accession of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, the convention will enter into force that will allow laying the long-term legal bases for cooperation in a wide range of areas: from environmental protection to water use.

The development of the new, 4th Action Programme to assist the countries of the Aral Sea basin (ASBP-4) has begun. This important document of the regional significance serves as the basis for the sustainable development in Central Asia, the intensification of the interstate interaction within the framework of the Fund's activities aimed at improving the conditions and quality of life in the Aral Sea area. Since the foundation of the Fund, three similar plans have been implemented, the last one was completed in 2015.

At present, the regional and national working groups are being formed from the representatives of IFAS structural units, specialists from ministries and departments of founding states, and international experts to drat the ASBP-4. The programme will include the projects submitted by the Fund's member countries. Its preparation will be coordinated in the course of multilateral consultations, so that the developed documents meet the priorities of the region's development. The ASBP-4 preparation is planned in the following areas: integrated use of water resources, ecological, socio-economic and improvement of institutional and legal mechanisms.

As the Co-Chair of the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea, Turkmenistan coordinates joint actions to improve the water, ecological and socio-economic situation in the Aral Sea basin. The work of the Executive Committee in Ashgabat is built in accordance with the decisions of the Council of the Heads of the Founding States, the President of IFAS and the Board of the Fund.