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A joint step on a common path

On October 7-12, this year, experts from UNDP offices in New York and Istanbul, Pradeep Kurulkoulasuria – Executive Coordinator for Environmental Financing (UNDP headquarters, New York), Tasnem Mirza – Strategic Specialist, SDG Integration (headquarters New York), Nat Pinnoy – an expert on the environment and experts on management, finance, innovation, agriculture, rural development, paid a visit to the Republic of Karakalpakstan to assist in the International Conference under the auspices of the UN “Aral Sea Basin – Zone of Environmental Innovations and Technologies” October 25, 2019. in the city of Nukus.

The purpose of this visit is to develop opportunities and integrated approaches around the Aral Sea region, consider other issues that, in the opinion of the government, should be considered to determine practical measures to further resolution of the Aral Sea crisis, which differ from those that have been tested previously in the Aral Sea region. This visit is the second stage of work begun by the first UNDP mission, which took place on September 9-11, this year in the context of UNDP supporting the process of developing a vision for transformation and preparing for the above International Conference.

Within the framework of the visit, on October 10, the delegation visited the “Muynak” research and production site of the International Innovation Center of the Aral Sea basin under the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan. The guests were received by the deputy director M.Ganiev and widely acquainted them with the activities of the site and long-term plans, tasks which require appropriate solutions, as well as events for the coming years.

The next day, October 11, the delegation visited the International Innovation Center of the Aral Sea Basin under the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan and a meeting was held with the executive group and staff of the Center. The meeting discussed issues related to current and future activities, long-term and short-term needs in support of the International Innovation Center of the Aral Sea basin under the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan and issues providing a set of specific goals and objectives aimed at improving the environmental and socio-economic situation in the Aral Sea region.

Moreover, as was noted during the meeting, the Aral Sea region is one of the UNDP priorities in the context of integration and achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

After the meeting, the guests got acquainted with the activities of the research and production site, experimental sites and the work done since the foundation of the International Innovation Center of the Aral Sea Basin under the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

The results of the visit allow the UNDP team to develop a plan aimed at developing a session for the October conference, which will allow for a discussion of innovative solutions to meet the long-term needs of the Aral region.

At the end of the visit of the UNDP delegation, a meeting was held with the ICBA delegation at the International Innovation Center of the Aral Sea Basin consisting of Seta Tutundjiyan, Program Director of the International Center for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA), Karimov Aziz, Deputy Head of the Regional Office for Central Asia and the Caucasus at the International Center for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA) and Khaitov Botir is a Research Associate in the Central Asia and South Caucasus Program.

The International Innovation Center operates with scientific and technical support from the International Center for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA). The Center’s activities and joint experiments were actively attended by the regional representatives of the International Center for Biosaline Agriculture of Central Asia and the South Caucasus (ICBA-CAS).

At the meeting, issues on the activation of the Center, the development of a joint project on the dried bottom of the Aral Sea, the education and training of specialized personnel and other issues related to activation, as well as the expansion of the activities of the International Innovation Center of the Aral Sea Basin were discussed.