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.






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

Cameron readies to support ‘yes’ for Britain in the EU

Why CEOs need to become activists in sustainability

Protecting European consumers: toys and cars on top of the list of dangerous products

These countries have some of the highest voter turnout in the world

The COP24 Agreement: Yes, it happened at last

Australia now has 25 million people. Will it choose to keep growing?

Climate change hits the poor hardest. Mozambique’s cyclones prove it

Getting people with disabilities into work requires data

US must abide by humanitarian refugee accords: UN refugee agency

SMEs and micro firms sinking together with south Eurozone

Talent is worldwide. Opportunity is not. How can we redistribute it?

Will Merkel ever steer the EU migration Titanic and restore her power in Germany?

The EU’s trading partners: US, China and the rest

UN recognises role of sport in achieving sustainable development

A male gynecologist in Iraq: red line violated

Code of Practice on Disinformation one year on: online platforms submit self-assessment reports

More state aid to big firms, no special provisions for the SMEs

Multilateralism more vital than ever, as World War centenary looms: Security Council

Anti-vaccination movement affecting youth in Europe

‘No hope’ global development goals can be achieved without women, says UN Assembly President

Who will secure Lithuania?

Syria: UN health agency highlights ‘critical health threats’ facing Idlib civilians

Luxembourg has achieved high levels of growth and well-being but must do more to preserve and share prosperity

New UN-supported farming app is cream of crop in tackling Sahel pest

UN rights chief ‘extremely concerned’ over deadly crackdown on protesters in Iran

A Sting Exclusive: “There can be no global deal on emissions without China and the USA”, Conservative MEP Ian Duncan stresses from Brussels

England’s beavers are back, and they’ve already made a big impact

UN chief welcomes resolution to 27-year-old disagreement over renaming the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

Energy Union: EU invests a further €800 million in priority energy infrastructure

Happens now in Brussels: Green Week sets the EU and global climate policy agenda

TTIP’s 11th round major takeaways and the usual “leaked” document

Yemen: 11 more ‘terrible, senseless’ civilian deaths reported, following attack in Sana’a – top UN official

10 cities are predicted to gain megacity status by 2030

There are 3 barriers blocking good menstrual hygiene for all women. Here’s how we overcome them

OECD survey reveals many people unhappy with public services and benefits

G20 LIVE: “Re-envisioning the economy to enable women to reach their full potential” live from Antalya Turkey

EU and World Health Organisation team up to boost access to health services in developing countries

The global economy is woefully unprepared for biological threats. This is what we need to do

DR Congo elections: ‘Excessive use of force’ in campaign must be avoided, says Bachelet

Zimbabwe facing man-made starvation, says UN expert

European Business Summit 2013: Where Business and Politics shape the future

New Erasmus: more opportunities for disadvantaged youth

The Commission calls for a climate neutral Europe by 2050*

First-ever UN report on disability and development, illustrates inclusion gaps

The collision of these 3 geographies is creating a new world order

Stop the waste: UN food agencies call for action to reduce global hunger

Romania: MEPs are deeply concerned about judicial independence and rule of law

UK economy in dire straits: leading banks now officially plan to Brexit too

Are we at the edge of anti-vaccination health crisis?

EU budget 2019 approved: focus on the young, innovation and migration

MEPs commend Ukraine‘s reform efforts and denounce Russian aggression

Wednesday’s Daily Brief: updates from the Near East and Libya, Ebola in DR Congo, World War remembrance

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

A 3-step plan for carbon-neutral cars

China-EU Trade and Economic Relations in Numbers

Keeping cool in the face of climate change

May led Britain to chaos, now looks for way out with unpredictable DUP

Nearly 5 million children in need due to rising violence in central Sahel: UNICEF

Change is happening – and young people are leading the way forward

LGBTQI+ and health care: do they deserve more attention from medical universities?

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