UN launches new fund to advance sustainable development in Aral Sea region

UN Spokesperson Secretary-General Guterres looks out at a portion of the Aral Sea, which has now dried completely.

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres has urged countries to fund a new initiative designed to reduce vulnerability, advance sustainable development and create decent living conditions for millions of people living around the Aral Sea, whose basin encompasses Uzbekistan, and six other countries in Central Asia.

The high-level event, held to launch the Multi-Partner Human Security Trust Fund for the Aral Sea Region (MPHSTF), was organized by the Governments of Japan, Nigeria, Norway and Uzbekistan, alongside the UN Human Security Unit, the UN Country Team in Uzbekistan, and the UN Multi-Partner Trust Fund Office.

The Aral Sea was once the world fourth largest lake, and its progressive drying out over several decades – described by the UN chief as “one of the largest ecological catastrophes of our time” – has caused a cascade of environmental, socioeconomic, health and humanitarian challenges for the governments and communities in the region.

Over a 50-year period, the rivers flowing into the Sea were diverted for irrigation projects, reducing their flow fivefold, decreasing the volume of the Sea by more than 14 times, and increasing its salinity (or salt level) by 25 times.

This has resulted in once flourishing fishing waters being replaced by a sandy salt desert of more than 5.5 hectares, which carries 75 million tons of dust and poisonous minerals into the atmosphere every year.

Those living in the region can no longer farm, fish or travel by boat, and poverty rates are significantly higher than country averages.

Addressing the attendees of the event, Mr. Guterres said that he had seen for himself the drying of the Aral Sea, during a visit to Uzbekistan in June 2017: “I heard moving accounts from people and experts about how the severe damage to the Sea also undermined the region’s social and economic systems. Livelihoods, traditional ways of life, and hopes for the future – all this has been lost.”

The new programme, which Mr. Guterres described as “a new chapter for communities in the region,” is the second initiative designed to improve livelihoods, strengthen community development and mitigate health and environmental risks in the Aral Sea area: it builds on the successes and lessons learned from the 2012 UN Trust Fund for Human Security, which underscored the importance of partnerships and coordinated planning, implementation and monitoring.

The MPHSTF will focus on ensuring environmental, economic, food, social and health security for affected communities, with the aim to reduce poverty, enhance resilience, and achieve sustainable development.

The UN Chief expects that the knowledge gained through this effort will also have useful impacts in Central Asia and wherever climate change, environmental degradation and water scarcity are hindering sustainable development.

It is expected that, following the event, agreements will be reached with international financial institutions and donor countries on their commitments to support the MPHSTF for the Aral Sea region.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

The secret weapon in the fight for sustainability? The humble barcode

Why your next work meeting should be a ‘walk-and-talk’

Except Poland, can climate change also wait until 2021 for the EU Market Stability Reserve to be launched?

South Sudan: ‘Horrific acts’ by government may constitute ‘war crimes’ says UN, demanding justice

MEPs approve EU’s spending in 2017

The ECB accuses the politicians of inaction, continues injecting billions to banks

More than four in 10 women, live in fear of refusing partner’s sexual demands, new UN global study finds

South Eurozone needs some…inflation and liquidity

Big impact vs big exit: the social side of the start-up game presented at the WSA Global Congress in Vienna

A Young student assesses the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA)

Sweden is a top performer on well-being. Here’s why

UN rights expert ‘strongly recommends’ probe by International Criminal Court into ‘decades of crimes’ in Myanmar

UNICEF delivers medical supplies to Gaza in wake of deadly protests

AIESEC @ European Business Summit 2014: European Youth, Change Now Patiently

How do we really feel about women leaders?

UN human rights chief regrets closure of Burundi office following Government pressure

To recruit younger people, you have to understand them. Here’s a guide

Eurozone banks to separate risky activities: Can they stay afloat?

Electronic cigarettes – The alternative we’ve been looking for?

UN ready to rise above political fray and help Venezuelans based ‘on need, and need alone’

Inaction on obesity stands in the way of sustainable development

Artificial Intelligence raises ethical, policy challenges – UN expert

Brexit: Ensuring a smooth transition for car producers and safety on the roads

Global climate change: consequences for human health in Brazilian cities

UN chief appoints Luis Alfonso de Alba as Special Envoy for the 2019 Climate Summit

The world to teach Germans to…un-German

The 28 EU leaders show contempt for the European Elections results

DR Congo: Strengthened effort against Ebola is paying off, but insecurity still major constraint – UN health agency

The race for Driverless vehicles: where is the industry heading?

How the digital finance revolution can drive sustainable development

Increasingly under attack, women human rights defenders need better back up

Security Council urges countries to factor child protection into conflict prevention efforts

Barriers to trade: as protectionism rises, EU continues opening up export markets for European firms

Here are three ways Africa’s youth are defeating corruption

EU to give more power to national antitrust authorities in a bid to secure regulatory fines

Italy’s populist government appears determined to drive EU economy and markets into recession

10th ASEM in Milan and the importance of being one: EU’s big challenge on the way to China

FROM THE FIELD: A UN peacekeepers-eye view of DR Congo

Impact of high debt levels on least developed countries ‘cannot be overstated’, says UN

EU: 13 major banks may pay fines 10% of worldwide turnover

How the Middle East is suffering on the front lines of climate change

Social entrepreneurs can change the world – but these 6 things are holding us back

Korea should improve the quality of employment for older workers

Trump in London poisons UK and Europe

Girls hold the key to Zambia’s future

Britain, EU take edgy steps to unlock Brexit talks as the war of words rages

2019: An unpredictable, confrontational and financially ominous year

EntEx Organises 5 Summer Schools for Young Entrepreneurs across Europe in June/July 2014

Women’s empowerment ‘essential to global progress’ says Guterres, marking International Day

EU Commission indifferent on Court of Auditors’ recommendations

Factory workers are facing a mental health crisis. Here’s how to respond

End ‘political opportunism’ that’s letting hate speech flourish, urges top UN genocide official

How tiny countries top social and economic league tables (and win at football, too)

UN political chief calls for dialogue to ease tensions in Venezuela; Security Council divided over path to end crisis

Brexit mission impossible: Theresa May was so desperate that had to appoint Boris Johnson as Foreign Secretary

New UN data tool shows ‘mismatch’ between government aid and places modern slavery exists

The Sichuan Province of China presents its cultural treasure to the EU

Will the end of QE come along with ECB’s inflation target?

‘Countless opportunities’ for new people-centred workplace, but ‘decisive action’ critical

Electronic cigarette: a still controversial qualitative imbalance

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s