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28.05.2010

On May 26 Berlin hosted an international forum "The Aral Sea: from the lake to the desert - the life with an environmental catastrophe", organized by the Embassy of Kazakhstan in cooperation with German Union for Environmental Protection (NABU).

The Forum objective was to raise awareness of the public and international organizations, because the dramatic scope and results of the Aral Sea drying out is relatively unknown in Europe and worldwide, while reduce of the sea size and the further significant deterioration of the ecological situation has negative implications not only for the region attached to the Aral Sea area, but for the whole world.

German Union for Environmental Protection (NABU) presented the environmental projects and the eco-tourism projects which are being implemented in Kazakhstan. The positive results of preventive measures were noted, including the building of the Kokaral dam that allows saving the Small Sea in the north of the Aral Sea.

Chairman of the Executive Committee of the International Fund for saving the Aral Sea (IFAS) Sagit Ibatullin told about the current situation in the Aral Sea and related activities of the Fund, noting that in the recent years IFAS and its bodies became the platform for the development and adoption of bilateral and multilateral agreements, as well as for recognition of international conventions on IWRM, use and conservation of transboundary water resources.

Professor Ralph Pevelling gave information on the German Technical Cooperation (GTZ) project which is being implemented in the Aral region “Enhancing economic and environmental well-being of the Aral Sea region” EEWA and presented his vision of possible solutions to the environmental disaster.

The meeting participants which included Germany's experts-environmentalists, representatives of the Bundestag and the federal ministries, members of the Organization for the Nature Protection discussed opportunities for undertaking joint activities for preventing further desertification and preserving biodiversity in the Aral Sea region, providing support to the population, improving of water-economic infrastructure, quality of drinking water.

Within the Forum frameworks the screening of the documentary film "The Aral Sea: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow" and photo exhibition dedicated to the Aral Sea problems was organized by the Embassy of Kazakhstan with assistance of the Executive Committee of IFAS.

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