14 September 2000 - In 1960, the Aral Sea in Central Asia was one of the largest inland water reservoirs in the world. By 2000, the level of the Aral Sea had dropped by more than 15 meters. According to estimates by the Scientific-Information Centre of the Inter-State Committee for Water Coordination and a forecast published by the World Bank and the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea, already by 2010 all water in the Aral Sea basin may be completely used up by the growing economy.
This and other information about the state of the environment in Central Asian countries (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan) will be released on-line and on a CD-ROM on in Almaty. Kazakhstan on October 16, 2000. The 'Environment in Central Asia' web-site and CD-ROM includes latest national electronic state-of-the-environmental reports of the five Central Asian countries, a regional report on state-of-the-environment in the Aral Sea Basin, maps, graphics and information materials from the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea, the World Health Organisation, the United Nations Development Programme and the World Bank.
The state-of-the-environment reports were produced by experts from five Central Asian countries in close cooperation with national Ministries of the Environment and the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea and facilitated by the United Nations Environment Programme through GRID-Arendal in Norway. The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Norwegian Trust Fund at the World Bank, the United Nations Environment Programme and the United Nations Development Programme provided funding. The funding from Norway also includes current support to UNEP-facilitated Regional Environmental Action Plan for Central Asia to deal with the most acute environmental issues of regional importance.
The web-site and the CD-ROM will be launched in connection with the European Consultation between Ministers of Economy/Finance and Environment on Water Management and Investments in the Newly Independent States of the former Soviet Union
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Contact: Nickolai Denisov, Programme Manager, Central and Eastern Europe and the NIS GRID-Arendal: phone +47 370 35707 fax +47 370 35050 email@example.com