• KGS/USD = 0.01179 0.85%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00209 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09364 -0.32%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01179 0.85%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00209 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09364 -0.32%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01179 0.85%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00209 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09364 -0.32%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01179 0.85%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00209 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09364 -0.32%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01179 0.85%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00209 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09364 -0.32%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01179 0.85%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00209 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09364 -0.32%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01179 0.85%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00209 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09364 -0.32%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01179 0.85%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00209 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09364 -0.32%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%

Viewing results 1 - 6 of 80

ADB Funds Wastewater Management and Sustainable Tourism in Issyk-Kul, Kyrgyzstan

On June 24, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) announced its provision of $56 million to improve wastewater management and enhance sustainable and inclusive tourism in Kyrgyzstan’s Issyk-Kul region. The funding comprises a $25 million concessional loan and a $31 million Asian Development Fund (ADF) grant. The Issyk-Kul region, with its rich ecological and biological diversity and Issyk-Kul Lake, has long been a popular tourist destination, with some 80% of holidaymakers choosing to stay at the lakeside resort of Cholpon-Ata. However, due to its age, the town’s wastewater network currently serves just half of the permanent population and excludes almost a third of tourism facilities. To address the issue, ADB funds will be invested in a climate-resilient infrastructure including a wastewater treatment plant, pumping stations, and improved sewer infrastructure, serving Cholpon-Ata's  main resorts, guesthouses, residential and business sectors. In tandem with helping preserve the environment around the lake, the initiative will support local authorities in developing a climate-resilient tourism master plan for the area. The project will also boost the area's tourism infrastructure through the creation of a museum and information centre, improving and conserving the local archaeological heritage site, constructing bike trails and walking paths around the lake's shoreline, upgrading three public parks, and facilitating access to green spaces. ADB Director General for Central and West Asia Yevgeniy Zhukov commented: “Economic growth can be driven by low-carbon tourism built on sound environmental practices and climate-resilient infrastructure. ADB’s project addresses critical challenges faced by Cholpon-Ata’s tourism industry. By integrating environmental improvements and wastewater investments with tourism infrastructure, we are helping shift Kyrgyz Republic to a low-carbon growth trajectory.”    

One Dead in Mudflows in Southern Kyrgyzstan

Mudflows in Kyrgyzstan's southern Jalal-Abad region have forced 300 families to evacuate their homes, and a 10-year-old child has died, the country's Ministry of Emergency Situations reports. On June 18th, after heavy rain, a mudflow descended in several villages, flooding over 50 buildings. According to the Ministry, police, doctors, and civil protection officers are working to repair the damage from the disaster. Deputy Minister for Emergency Situations Edelbek Kulmatov said that the Kochkor-Ata water basin is 15-20 kilometers from the affected villages. "Water accumulates, and the stream rushes down the mountain hollow, traveling over 20 kilometers. Unfortunately, some cowsheds and families live 16 kilometers away from the settlement. The mudflow carried away a 10-year-old child, who died," Kulmatov said. During the day, rescuers used heavy special equipment to clear 16 households from mudflows. Flooded internal roads were also cleared and put back into operation. Doctors are on duty at the site to monitor residents' health. Currently, the Ministry of Emergency Situations employees are conducting disinfection procedures within the two villages in the Jalal-Abad region. A section of the Bishkek-Osh highway is temporarily blocked due to the mudflows. However, residents of some evacuated houses are returning to their homes despite many buildings still being damaged by flooding.

The Aral Sea: Addressing Water Issues, Crisis, and Striving for a Better Life in Central Asia

By Arindam Banik and Muhtor Nasirov   The world is currently grappling with the devastating impact of climate change, as rising temperatures have become an undeniable reality. In January 2024, the global temperature exceeded normal levels for the second consecutive month, pushing the global average temperature over the 1.5-degree threshold for the first time. Many human activities, such as unplanned water use, excessive groundwater extraction, and climate change, are thought to be contributing to this situation. One poignant example is the case of the Aral Sea in Central Asia. This once breathtaking and teeming endorheic lake, nestled between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, was not just a body of water. It was a symbol of life, a testament to the beauty and resilience of nature. Its azure waters and diverse marine life were a source of sustenance and livelihood for the region's people. It was a vibrant ecosystem, nourished by the almost entire flow of the two main rivers, the Amu Darya and the Syr Darya, in the upstream region of Central Asia. Interestingly, the Amu Darya River used to flow into the Caspian Sea through Uzboy Channel. However, a significant shift occurred during human settlement when the flow of these rivers was redirected into the Aral Sea, marking a crucial turning point in the region's hydrological history. Despite its former glory as the third-largest lake in the world, covering an area of 68,000 km2 (26,300 sq miles), the Aral Sea began shrinking in the 1960s after the rivers that fed it were diverted to support large-scale irrigation for cotton production intended for export. The irrigated area in the Aral Sea Basin has now expanded to eight million hectares. By 2007, it had decreased to only 10 percent of its original size, dividing into four lakes. By 2009, the southeastern lake had vanished, and the southwestern lake had shrunk to a thin strip at the western edge of the former southern sea. In the following years, occasional water flows partially replenished the southeastern lake. In August 2014, NASA satellite images revealed that the eastern basin of the Aral Sea had completely dried up, leading to the formation of the Aralkum Desert. This dramatic change has severely impacted the ecology, risking the survival of numerous fish subspecies and three endemic sturgeon species. The loss of these species disrupts the natural balance and affects the livelihoods of the local communities that depend on fishing. The herring, sand smelt, and gobies were the first planktivorous fish in the lake, and their decline led to the lake's zooplankton population collapse. Consequently, the herring and sand-smelt populations have not recovered. Except for the carp, snakehead, and possibly the pipefish, all introduced species survived the lake’s shrinkage and increased salinity. In an attempt to revive fisheries, the European flounder was introduced. This situation is urgent as the delicate balance of this ecosystem is on the verge of collapse. The region's once-prosperous fishing industry has been devastated, leading to unemployment and economic hardship. Additionally, the diverted Syr Darya River...

Almaty Hosts Conference on Tackling Climate Change in Central Asia

On 27 May, delegations from Central Asian countries and international experts convened in Almaty, Kazakhstan to discuss pressing issues of sustainable water and land management, energy, food security, and environmental sustainability in the context of climate change in the region. Held annually, the Central Asia Climate Change Conference provides a platform to advance regional cooperation in addressing the impact of climate change and transboundary climate risks. This year’s event, CACCC-2024, attracted over 400 participants, including policy and decision makers from Central Asian countries, international development partners, and representatives from civil societies, the private sector, and academia. Addressing the delegates, Zafar Makhmudov, Executive Director of the Regional Environmental Centre for Central Asia (CAREC) announced: “Central Asia is vulnerable to the adverse effects of a rapidly changing climate, given its agricultural economy, aging infrastructure, and rapid population growth. The need to improve regional cooperation in energy and water resources management alongside approaches to adaptation to climate change is obvious. The conference aims to strengthen this cooperation to increase the region's resilience.” Regarding funding, Tatiana Proskuryakova, World Bank Regional Director for Central Asia, stated, “Climate change is an urgent challenge, and the countries of Central Asia can only address it if they work together. This means tackling a broad set of issues simultaneously, from adopting and implementing green policies to deploying green financing and investing in renewable energy, sustainable agriculture and natural resource management. We will continue working hand in hand with our government counterparts, sharing our analysis and advice, but also providing finance for priority investment projects for the benefit of people in Central Asia.” On an encouraging note, Dr. Caroline Milow, Programme Manager for the Green Central Asia Initiative, GIZ added: “With the adoption of the Regional Climate Change Adaptation Strategy, Central Asia is one step ahead of many other regions in the world. It helps further cooperation and coordination to strengthen adaptation and mitigation to climate change, which is ever more felt in the region. I am positive that these joint efforts among the countries will bear fruit for the entire population of the Aral Sea Basin.”

Rahmon Orders Map of Environmental Hazards

The Government of Tajikistan plans to create an atlas of exogenous geological processes, Sputnik has reported. The General Directorate of Geology of the Republic will prepare the map and present it to the government for consideration. The President of Tajikistan, Emomali Rahmon, announced this during his visit to the Khatlon region. According to Rahmon, it is necessary to strengthen early warning systems regarding possible environmental hazards in Tajikistan and to prevent the adverse consequences of such situations. Leaders of regions, cities and districts, together with relevant ministries and agencies, have been instructed to take measures to mitigate the effects of natural disasters and provide assistance to victims. “In the second ten days of May, as a result of heavy rains, floods and landslides occurred in some areas, causing economic damage as well as human casualties,” Rahmon said. He also emphasized the need to strengthen cooperation with environmental protection, emergency situations and civil defense committees, as well as the State Committee for Land Surveying and Geodesy on early warnings of potential environmental hazards.

World Bank Helps Improve Social Services for Vulnerable People in Uzbekistan

On 24 May, the World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved a $100 million concessional loan for an Innovative Social Protection System for Inclusion of Vulnerable People Project to improve access to, and the quality of social services for vulnerable people in Uzbekistan. The project is co-financed by a $2 million grant from the Early Learning Partnership; a multi-donor trust fund managed by the World Bank to support vulnerable children’s development and learning. The grant will be used to evaluate and improve social services’ provision for the well-being of vulnerable children in Uzbekistan’s local communities or ‘mahallas.’ Welcoming the government’s commitment to broadening the nation’s social protection system and provide more inclusive and effective support to vulnerable people, Marco Mantovanelli, World Bank Country Manager for Uzbekistan, commented: “This project will help build the legal and institutional foundations of the care economy. It will also expand access to quality on-demand social services that are currently underprovided to thousands of vulnerable people across the country, including older people, persons with disabilities, survivors of gender-based violence, and vulnerable children.” The project will be implemented by the National Social Protection Agency through the Office of the President of Uzbekistan, in close collaboration with various government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and Uzbekistan’s international development partners. Over 50 community-based territorial social service centers (TSSCs) will be established across the country to improve access to enhanced social care and rehabilitation facilities for over 50,000 vulnerable citizens, including the elderly, people with disabilities, and vulnerable children. The project will also create a platform for a regulated and accredited provision of social services from the private sector and by encouraging external investment, reduce the strain on the state’s institutional-based care and welfare system. Once in operation, the project will equip 1,200 people with disabilities, at least half whom are aged 15-24, with professional skills and employment opportunities. Women will also benefit from legal, health and psychological services offered by the establishment of 29 Women Adaptation and Rehabilitation Centers. Last but not least, the initiative will lay the foundations for shock-responsive social protection in Uzbekistan, including the development of policies, emergency procedures and the piloting of a new climate adaptation program. Serving 100,000 impoverished people living in rural communities, the program is designed to increase awareness of climate-related risks and improve communities’ resilience through the provision of seeds for climate-resistant crops, tools, and training in climate-smart agriculture and climate adaptation practices.