Biological diversity serves as the basis for maintaining life-supporting functions of the human being and the biosphere in general. For the Aral Sea basin, where there is a sharp reduction in diversity, one main regional problem is the maintenance of wild flora and fauna biological diversity. The issue of preserving the biodiversity is relevant for Priaral’ye, the rivers of the basin, as well as for the mountainous parts.
Priaral’ye is the territory attached to the Aral Sea. Much of this territory was the Aral Sea and is now a desert. As a result, nearly 90% of riparian woodlands (tugais) and reeds are gone, causing the disappearance of most of the animals and birds in this area. The resulting depletion of commercial fish stocks and waterfowl is causing significant economic problems, and the population has lost a major source of income. In the deltas of the Amudarya and Syrdarya rivers, natural pastures are deteriorating, there is soil salinization, and biodiversity is decreasing.
The mountainous of Central Asia are also under threat. Illegal logging, uncontrolled livestock grazing, and the plowing of slopes has led to an increased number of landslides, mudflows and general soil erosion. Over-exploitation of natural resources, unsustainable land practices, and deficiencies in forest management are leading to their degradation. In addition, glaciers and snowpack areas are shrinking due to climate change.
Unfortunately there is a lack of coordination between water management and environmental organizations, including local authorities and the local population, reducing the potential for an efficient use of natural resources. Therefore it is difficult to address current environmental problems, and it is difficult to plan for future environmental problems before they occur.
The most effective way to preserve biological diversity and landscapes is to establish nature reserves with protected status. These would provide birds with nesting areas and migratory birds with a place to rest. At the same time, they would serve as spawning and feeding water areas for fish, and the establishment of national parks would create jobs for the local population.
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