New nature reserve created in Kazakhstan

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ASTANA (TCA) — The Ile-Balkhash State Nature Reserve has been created by Kazakh Government Decree issued on 27 June 2018. The area of the new reserve is 415,164 hectares and it is located in Almaty Region’s Balkhash District.

The reserve was created under the support of the UNDP Project on preservation of biodiversity and ecosystems. The expansion and creation of new protected areas is Kazakhstan’s important achievement in preserving biodiversity. These processes are in line with the measures taken by Kazakhstan to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and restore land ecosystems as well as to curb climate change.

It took over eight years to create the reserve. UNDP and the Agriculture Ministry’s Forestry and Wildlife Committee jointly performed the work, and it included feasibility and scientific studies in order to ground the creation of the Ile-Balkhash Reserve, the UNDP in Kazakhstan reported.

The reserve includes the modern delta of the River Ile, bottomland and saxaul forests, and wetlands in the south-eastern shore of the Balkhash Lake. The Ile river delta is the only largest one which exists in Central Asia with big wetlands of global importance as the place for the mass nesting of waterfowl and semiaquatic birds, including those which are under the threat of global extinction. The eco-systems of the Ile-Balkhash Reserve are unique thanks to the rich biodiversity of flora and fauna and include a huge number of critically endangered, relict and endemic species.

The population density is high around the new reserve, which may have a certain degree of impact on the local ecosystems. The involvement of the representatives of local population into the coordination councils will help take joint decisions which will make it possible to live for the man and the reserve in harmony as well as preserve biodiversity and ecosystems.

Sergey Kwan

TCA