The week of tourism in the Aral Sea has started in Karakalpakstan. As part of the week, on April 17, the International Scientific and Practical Conference “Goodwill Ambassadors of the Aral Sea Region” began its work in Nukus.

The event brought together representatives of the Ministry of Ecology, Environmental Protection and Climate Change, the Committee of the Jokargy Kenes of the Republic of Karakalpakstan, the Central Asian University for the Study of the Environment and Climate Change (Green University), the International Innovation Center of the Aral Sea Region, the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ), UNDP, the Research Institute of Hydrometeorology, the Research Institute of Forestry, the Research Institute of the Environment and environmental Technologies, the Institute of Botany of the Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Uzbekistan, higher educational institutions of the country, international organizations and the media.

“Modern global problems related to environmental pollution, climate change, and inefficient use of natural resources require focusing on sustainable development, training new formats of specialists and experts in the field of ecology and environmental protection, as well as the introduction of innovative approaches to solving problems”, Deputy Minister of Ecology Jusipbek Kazbekov said in his welcoming speech. – “The International Scientific and Practical Conference “Goodwill Ambassadors of the Aral Sea Region” is aimed at applying new knowledge and conducting interdisciplinary research to support national, regional, and international innovation systems in the fields of ecology, environmental protection, environmental management, and sustainable development in this region”, added J.Kazbekov.

During the conference, the participants got acquainted with reports on the ongoing work in the Aral Sea region, the role and importance of afforestation of the drained bottom of the Aral Sea, the problems of the lower reaches of the Amu Darya River and ways to solve them, prospects for the development of sustainable tourism in the protected areas of the Aral Sea region, and other reports.

“Our President Shavkat Mirziyoyev has set a task this year to create 100 thousand hectares of forest plantations on the drained bottom of the Aral Sea. We have already created 156 thousand hectares of forest plantations. Some of them were created by sowing seeds with the help of aviation, and also in the spring season of this year, we are planting seedlings. To this end, we also plan to create an International Center for the cultivation of seedlings and forage plants”, said Zinovy Novitsky, head of the laboratory of the Forestry Research Institute, Doctor of Agricultural Sciences. “In addition, we are developing a new direction in Karakalpakstan: beekeeping. We have already created more than 2,000 hectares of tamarisk plantations. I note that 50 kg of honey can be harvested from one hectare of flowering tamarisk. Therefore, starting this year, we will develop beekeeping on the drained bottom of the Aral Sea”, added Z. Novitsky.

For information: during 2018–2023, 1 million 730 thousand hectares of forest plantations were planted on the bottom of the Aral Sea, which led to the greening of 17 thousand square kilometers. In 2024, it is planned to lay forests on a total area of 150–200 thousand hectares.

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