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

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

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 sustainable fashion revolution is well underway. These 5 trends prove it

The West definitively cuts Russia off from the developed world

Mind control using sound waves? We ask a scientist how it works

Germany openly seeks more advantages for its banks

European Commission welcomes the positive assessment about how it has managed the EU budget

Mental health problems costing Europe heavily

MEPs call for a reduction in pesticides to protect bees

Six months into DR Congo’s deadliest Ebola outbreak, top UN official praises ‘brave’ response effort

Spending on health increase faster than rest of global economy, UN health agency says

MEPs want ambitious funding for cross-border projects to connect people

Data protection: Commission decides to refer Greece and Spain to the Court for not transposing EU law

Central African Republic: UN chief hails signing of new peace agreement

FROM THE FIELD: Liberia boosts efforts to guard against rising seas

GSMA Announces Final Event Lineup for Highly Anticipated 2019 “MWC Los Angeles, in Partnership with CTIA”

UN rights chief ‘strongly’ condemns ‘shocking’ mass executions in Saudi Arabia

“Prevention is better than cure”: the main goal of modern medicine

UN refugee agency presses States to aid 49 refugees stranded on Mediterranean

Ebola cases rising in DR Congo, but UN health agency cites progress in community trust-building

Brexit Preparedness: European Commission adopts final set of “no-deal” contingency measures for Erasmus+ students, social security coordination rules and the EU budget

Arlington, USA: kick-off of the fifth round of the EU-US boxing match

How civil society must adapt to survive its greatest challenges

These cities have the best quality of life

daniela-runchi-jade-president__

A Sting Exclusive: “Education in Europe, fostering skills development inside and outside the school system”

The key takeaways of G7 Summit in Canada

DiscoverEU: 20,000 more young people will explore Europe in 2020

One more country to test the EU project: Kaczynski’s Poland

‘Health is a right, not a privilege’ says WHO chief on World Health Day

Migration Crisis: how to open the borders and make way for the uprooted

Parliament votes for €1 billion in aid to Ukraine

Brazilian healthcare and the Global Compact for safe orderly and regular migration

Data is the fuel of mobility. Don’t spill it for nothing

Consumer product quality: MEPs take aim at dual standards

The European Parliament launches a website on European election results

European Court rules that ECB’s OMT program of 2012 is OK; not a word from Germany about returning the Greek 2010 courtesy

Children suffering ‘atrocities’ as number of countries in conflict hits new peak: UNICEF

International community makes important progress on the tax challenges of digitalisation

Is Europe ready to cooperate with the rest of the world? Can Germany change its selfish policies?

In Finland, speeding tickets are linked to your income

UN agencies welcome green light for Rohingya projects in northern Myanmar; urge ‘more effective access’

China is the first non-EU country to invest in Europe’s €315 billion Plan

Final turnout data for 2019 European elections announced

Samoa measles outbreak claims 70 lives, majority are children under five

UN envoy says he ‘is ready to go to Idlib’ to help ensure civilian safety amid rising fears of government offensive

EU announces record €550 million contribution to save 16 million lives from AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria

Negative inflation hits Eurozone, ECB to print and distribute one trillion euro earlier than expected

Is the EU competent enough to fight human smuggling in 2015?

Search Engine neutrality in Europe in danger: Are 160.000 Google filtering requests good enough?

‘No safe way’ into battle-scarred Afghan city of Ghazni to deliver aid as traumatized children search for parents

UN rights chief bemoans unilateral sanctions on Venezuela, fearing ‘far-reaching implications’

We spend half our time at work in meetings – and that’s not necessarily a bad thing

FROM THE FIELD: Faces and Voices of Conflict

ECB: Monetary policy decisions

How to stop plastic pollution at source

Infinite Oath

Can we balance conservation and development? Science says yes

3 ways to fight short-termism and relaunch Europe

Facts and prejudices about work

Encouraging progress made in 2018, in ‘zero tolerance’ effort to end sexual exploitation and abuse across UN

The ASEAN Community sees the light: the genesis of a new powerful economic and political bloc and EU’s big opportunity

As the year closes out, UN political chief talks the art of diplomacy – and crises to watch in 2019.

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