UN Agencies launch a joint programme to mitigate environmental crisis in the Aral Sea Region
Human induced activities more often become the reason for man-made environmental disasters. In Central Asia the chief among them is the Aral Sea disaster and desertification. It has had serious socio-economic impact on the livelihoods of millions. The issue of mitigating the Aral Sea disaster for population affected is vital and critical not only for Uzbekistan, but also for the Eurasian region.
The UN Joint Programme “Building the resilience of communities affected by the Aral Sea disaster through the Multi-partner Human Security Fund for the Aral Sea” funded by the UN Trust Fund for Human Security (UNTFHS) will serve to support the improvement of economic, social and environmental security in three pilot regions for the duration of three years.
The Council of Ministers of Karakalpakstan proposed to designate Muynak, Shumanay and Kanlikul districts, with total population exceeding 123,000 people and located in the most environmentally vulnerable areas, as pilot districts for implementing the new Joint Programme.
At this time, the programme is being launched at grassroots level to clarify its goals and scope together with farmers, representatives of rural citizens’ assemblies, government institutions and agencies, as well as private entrepreneurs.
Participants of the seminars are getting familiar with key work aspects in line with the Concept of Human Security, prospects for its application in Karakalpakstan to alleviate adverse impact of the Aral Sea disaster. Moreover, an interactive discussion session with local residents will take place to identify the major issues arising as a result of existing environmental situation in pilot areas to develop the so called “problem tree” for each district. Thereafter, local development plans that take into account the complex environmental conditions of the region will be developed within the framework of human security paradigm.
Human Security. In accordance with the UNTFHS strategy, the Concept of Human Security implies establishment of efficient governance system, improvement of economic situation, development of education and healthcare systems, as well as environmental protection. In other words, this approach allows to create a link between various types of human activity to consistently overcome complex and yet interconnected development issues. The Programme will utilize the “bottom-up” approach – i.e. letting the people set priority goals in their communities, thereby promoting the participation of people in decision-making processes at the local level.
One of the key objectives of the UN Joint Programme is to provide support to establish the Multi-partner Human Security Fund for sustainable socio-economic development processes, maintain environmental balance and restore flora and fauna in the Aral Sea Region.