Session I. Reviving the Aral Sea: Innovations for Sustainable Progress

22 February 2024

The session aims to explore and emphasize the critical need for transboundary cooperation and support in addressing the challenges faced within the Aral Sea basin. The Aral Sea region has encountered severe environmental degradation, impacting ecosystems, livelihoods, and regional stability. This session will delve into the significance of collaborative efforts among neighboring countries, international organizations, and local communities in revitalizing the basin's health, promoting sustainable development, and mitigating the repercussions of the Aral Sea crisis. this session aims to inspire collaboration, investment, and further research in innovative solutions, fostering a collective commitment towards a sustainable and prosperous future for the region.

Within this context, the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea (IFAS) plays a key role in project implementation and cooperation. IFAS, as a key player, not only provides financial support, but also facilitates coordination of efforts of different countries and stakeholders to combat the challenges facing the Aral Sea basin. Joint efforts of the conference participants will contribute to the development and implementation of concrete solutions aimed at supporting sustainable development of the Aral Sea and its adjacent territories.


Key Discussion Points:


1. Demonstration of achievements in water-saving technologies, desalination methods and efficient irrigation systems to optimize water use and combat the water crisis in the Aral Sea basin.

2. Highlighting innovative methodologies for ecosystem restoration, including reforestation, wetland restoration, and biodiversity conservation efforts adapted to the unique environment of the Aral Sea.

3. Climate Resilient Agriculture and Crop Diversification: exploring innovative agricultural practices, crop varieties and farming methods that are resilient to changing climatic conditions and contribute to sustainable agriculture in the region.

4. Showcasing initiatives that empower local communities through sustainable businesses, social enterprises, and community projects that promote employment, education, and cultural preservation.

5. Discuss the use of remote sensing, GIS ( Geographic Information System) and other data-driven technologies to monitor environmental change, support decision-making and policy formulation.

The policy briefs are available here.

Chair :

Ms. Zauresh Zhansultanovna,

The Executive Board of the International Fund for saving the Aral Sea in the Republic of Kazakhstan

Chair :

Ms. Dinara Seydazimova,

Kazakh-German University, Kazakhstan

Session partners:

Main speakers

Mr. Bolat Bekniyaz

The Executive Board of the International Fund for saving the Aral Sea in the Republic of Kazakhstan

Dr. Galina Stulina

Scientific-Information Center Interstate Commission for Water Coordination of Central Asia (SIC ICWC), Uzbekistan

Ms. Maria Zadneprovskaya

International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea in the Republic of Kazakhstan (IFAS Kazakhstan)

Bekniyaz Bolat Kabykenovich, First Vice-Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation of the Republic of Kazakhstan. In different years he worked in senior positions in the structures of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection of the Republic of Kazakhstan. He held the position of Deputy Director for Science of JSC NGO "Eurasian Water Center", Deputy Chairman of the Committee for Water Resources, and acted as an inspector of the Secretariat of the Security Council of the Republic of Kazakhstan. He was also a freelance advisor to the Minister of Environmental Protection of the Republic of Kazakhstan on water issues, Director of the Department of State Regulation of Environmental Protection of the Ministry of Environmental Protection of the Republic of Kazakhstan. From 2016 to 2023 he was the Director of the Executive Directorate of the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea in the Republic of Kazakhstan.

Galina Vladislavovna Stulina is a soil scientist, doctor of biological sciences, a participant of numerous regional and international projects, and the leader of at least a dozen expeditions on the dried Aral Sea bed, the last of which was supported by the United Nations Development Program in Uzbekistan. She talks about the sea that no longer exists, her choice of profession, the prospects of the Aral Sea region, and the components of women's success in science.

Zadneprovskaya Maria Andreevna in 2008 completed her studies at KazNTU named after. K.I. Satpayev, majoring in “Hydrogeology, engineering geology and geoecology”, qualified as an engineer. In 2006, she completed her studies at the University of Science and Technology Languedoc Montpellier-2, in Montpellier, France, and received a master's degree in Science and Technology, with a specialization in Biology, Geological Sciences, Agricultural Resources and Environmental Protection. She is a graduate of the Bolashak International Scholarship. From October 2008 to January 2017, she worked at the Ministry of Environmental Protection of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Ministry of Energy of the Republic of Kazakhstan. She oversaw issues related to public participation in the decision-making process on environmental issues, the work of the Public Environmental Council, environmental monitoring, science, the implementation of social orders, the OECD project to increase the competitiveness of Kazakhstan, and environmental education. She has been working at the Public Fund “Executive Directorate of the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea in the Republic of Kazakhstan” since February 2020, and since April 2022 she has been appointed head of the Ecology Department. He is engaged in the implementation of projects for landscaping the drained bottom of the Aral Sea, restoration and development of the Northern Aral Sea, and issues of interaction with public organizations.


Mr. Timur Mavlyanov

"Uzbekhydrogeology", Uzbekistan

Dr. Vadim Yapiyev

Nazarbayev University, Kazakhstan

Mr. Mavlon Khokimalizoda

Mr. Mavlon Khokimalizoda, Tajikistan

Mr. Alauatdin Mambetkarimov

International Fund for saving the Aral Sea, Nukus Branch, Uzbekistan.

Mavlyanov T.E., was born in 1959 in Tashkent. After graduating TashSU (National University) with a degree in Hydrogeology and Engineering Geology, he worked at the Golodnostepskaya GGE and GSE Uzbekhydrogeology from 1981 to 1990, focusing on groundwater exploration facilities and integrated hydrogeological and engineering-geological surveys. In 1990, he moved to the HYDROINGEO Institute, where he engaged in scientific work in the fields of regional hydrogeological, engineering-geological, and ecological-geological research. In 1997, he defended his Ph.D. thesis on the topic "Engineering and geological conditions and dynamics of the development of exogenous geological processes in the southeastern part of the dried-up bottom of the Aral Sea". From 1997 to 2013, he held various positions, including head of the laboratory, head of the Groundwater Monitoring and Cadastre Center, Deputy Director for Science, and Chief Hydrogeologist at the Hydroinformcenter. He is the author and co-author of more than 50 scientific publications, 60 production, thematic, scientific, and methodological reports, and documents Over the years, he has participated in international scientific and practical conferences and seminars in the following cities: Kyiv (Ukraine, 2010), Moscow (Russia, 2011, 2018), Geneva (Switzerland, 2014), Delft (Netherlands, 2016), Almaty (Kazakhstan, 2010,2014,2015) From 2013-2018 he worked as the head of the Department of Hydrogeology, Engineering Geology, and Geoecological Works of the State Committee of Geology of the Republic of Uzbekistan. Performed control and coordination of all geological exploration and scientific research work in the system by the hydrogeological service on the territory of the Republic of Uzbekistan. Since April 2018, he has been working at the State Institution "Uzbekhydrogeology". Over the years, he was the head of the Groundwater Monitoring Center, the responsible executor of engi

Vadim Yapiev studied chemistry and ecology at Eurasian National University (Astana) from 1993 to 1997 and later obtained a Master of Science degree from Central European University (Budapest) in environmental sciences. After that, Vadim worked in various positions ranging from a chemical engineer in an environmental monitoring laboratory (Kazgidromet), a waste management engineer in the oil and gas industry, to Director of Quality and Environmental Protection in a composite materials production facility. In 2011, he became part of the newly established Nazarbayev University, where he was involved in building and establishing research and academic infrastructure. From 2014 to 2019. Vadim is a doctoral student and researcher at Nazarbayev University. His doctoral work (successfully completed in 2019) focused on hydrology and water balance of the lakes of the Burabai National Nature Park. From 2019 to 2021. Vadim is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Reading on a research project on water quality and sources in Central Asia.From 2021 to 2023 he is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Oulu, Finland and School of Mining and Geosciences, Nazarbayev University. His research activities focus on interdisciplinary studies of water resources and ecology with special emphasis on physical hydrology, isotope hydrology and hydrogeology, soil science, environmental geochemistry, land surface processes and the critical zone of the biosphere. Born and grew up in Tselinograd (later Astana).

Mr. Mavlon Khokimalizodа. He graduated from the Meteorological Faculty of the Odessa Hydrometeorological Institute, the Law Faculty of the Russian-Tajik Slavic University. He worked in various positions of the Ministry of Environmental Protection of the Republic of Tajikistan, the Main Directorate for Hydrometeorology of the Republic of Tajikistan; Representative of the Republic of Tajikistan in the Executive Committee of IFAS. Since 2019, Director of the IFAS Executive Committee Branch in the Republic of Tajikistan.

Mr. Alauatdin Mambetkarimov. He worked in the field of water management and innovative development of the Aral Sea region. Together with Gulistan State University, he worked on the innovative project "Genbank of drought-resistant Plants", as well as in the project "Development of new technologies for monitoring and controlling land use in the Aral region" carried out within the framework of the Uzbek-Japanese SATREPS program.

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