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After the collapse of the Soviet Union the Central Asia states established a new framework for sharing and distributing water. On 12 September 1992, the Ministers of Water Resources of the newly independent states issued a Statement in which they declared that joint management of water resources would be carried out in accordance with the principles of equality and mutual benefit.



The support of donors in 1992-1994 made it possible to establish the interstate organizations: International Fund for saving the Aral Sea (IFAS) with its headquarters in Almaty, and the Interstate Commission for the Aral Sea (ICAS) with the Executive Committee under the chairmanship of the Turkmenistan Minister of Water Management, with headquarters in Tashkent. The role of IFAS was, primarily, to generate funds, while EC ICAS was in charge of the Aral Sea Basin Program (ASBP). A third body, the Interstate Commission for Sustainable Development (ICSD) was established in 1993. Based in Ashgabat, its major objective was to protect the environment in the region.


In February 1997, a meeting of the heads of the Central Asian States made a fundamental decision to restructure and merge IFAS and ICAS. Decisions were also made concerning the chairmanship of the new Executive Committee, including rotations, location of the Executive Committee and the supply of fees to the Fund. Since IFAS was established in 1993, the Executive Committee has been located in Almaty (1993-1997), Tashkent (1997-1999), Ashgabat (1999-2002), and Dushanbe (2003-2009). Since 2009, it has been based in Almaty.

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