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News: September 2009

CLIMATE CHANGE - FOREMOST GEOPOLITICAL AND ECONOMIC PROBLEM OF XXI CENTURY - UN SEC-GEN

Source: KAZINFORM, A. Altyngazina, 23.09.2009

The Summit on Climate Change with participation of more than 100 heads of states, governments, international organizations and national ministries was held in the UN Headquarters in New York yesterday.

Kazakhstan was represented by the delegation of the Ministry of Environmental Protection headed by Nurgali Ashimov.

The summit is aimed at speeding up the preparation of a new international agreement on limitation and reduction of emissions of greenhouse gases after the Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012.

Making a speech Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon expressed hope for mobilizing political momentum and signing an effective agreement at the December Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen. He noted slow pace of negotiations. "The glaciers I saw a few weeks ago in the Arctic are melting faster than human progress to preserve them", he said. He called the climate change a foremost geopolitical and economic problem of the XXI century.

President of the United States of America Barack Obama announced of the radical change of the US position regarding the issue. He said the new national policy is aimed at cutting car emissions. The US invests a lot in development of renewable energy sources.

President of France Nicolas Sarkozy suggested creating a world environmental organization by 2012 and holding one more summit devoted to greenhouse gas emission cut ahead of the Copenhagen Conference.

Chinese Leader Hu Jintao told about the plans on development of green economy and use of ecologically clean technologies.

UN LAUNCHED GLOBAL CLIMATE WEEK

Source: KAZINFORM, A. Altyngazina, 23.09.2009

The Organization of the United Nations has announced the current week "Global Climate Week". The campaign is called to promote achievement of a treaty on climate change during the UN conference scheduled for Dec 2009 in Copenhagen.

Over 120 countries are to take part in the activities on propagating environmental protection on Sep 21-25. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called the nations' leaders to reach "fair, equal and efficient" agreement on climate change.

In Copenhagen the world leaders will focus on a new treaty which will replace the Kyoto Protocol of 1997.

UZBEKISTAN REQUESTED SOUTH KOREA RO REVIVE ARAL SEA

Source: KAZINFORM, 23.09.2009

Uzbekistan is to request South Korea's participation in efforts by Central Asian countries to revive the Aral Sea, once the world's fourth largest inland sea, which has now mostly dried up, Deputy Foreign Minister Anvar Salikhbayev said, Kazinform cites BERNAMA. Salikhbayev said he plans to formally raise the issue at South Korea's annual forum with Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, and Tajikistan to be held in Seoul in December, reported South Korea's Yonhap news agency on Tuesday.

The Aral Sea, located between Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, is a symbol of man-made environmental and ecological disaster. It was about two thirds the size of South Korea until the early 1960s, but its water volume has decreased by 75 percent and the shoreline has receded up to 160km from its former shore, according to experts.

The cause was traced to the Soviet-era policy to divert two rivers which fed the Aral Sea to grow cotton in nearby areas.

With the wreckage of rusty vessels embedded in the sand where water once stood, the Aral Sea is nicknamed a "ship graveyard," and a growing number of residents in a town adjacent to it suffer from cancer, respiratory problems and other diseases as the now-dusty sea basin is heavily polluted, leading to poisonous air and drinking water.

"Uzbekistan and South Korea can step up cooperation in the medical and green growth sectors," Salikhbayev said in an interview with a group of South Korean reporters last week at his ministry.

"We hope South Korea will participate in the Aral Sea salvation project, especially in tap water purification and medical services for victims."

He said the five Central Asian nations have formed the International Foundation for the Salvation of the Aral Sea and held a summit among their leaders in April to discuss ways to resurrect the lake, Kazinform refers to BERNAMA.