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Glaciers in Central Asia melt intensively -- Tajik Deputy Minister of Energy and Water.

The glaciers degradation tendency in Central Asia is deplorable: glaciers continue melting intensively, First Deputy Minister of Energy and Water Resources of Tajikistan Sulton Rahimzoda said at the seminar "The Impact of Glaciers Melting on National and Trans-boundary Water Systems in Central Asia" on November 12 in Dushanbe.

"This is a relevant problem not only for Central Asia, but the whole world," he added.

Tajikistan hosts 14,000 glaciers 845 cubic kilometers in size, which formed and still form the bulk of water resources of Central Asia, the Deputy Minister said.

Around 1,000 glaciers disappeared in Tajikistan over the last decades. The intensive pace of glaciers melting can be judged from the Fedchenko Glacier, which is one of the biggest glaciers in Central Asia forming the Pyanzh and Vakhsh Rivers, water suppliers for Central Asia's water artery - Amudarya River. According to Tajik scholars, the Fedchenko Glacier became shorter for 1 km, its thickness reduced for 50 meters.

"If glaciers melting tendency keeps during 20-30 years, such changes can lead to certain consequences. The climate change already changed the flow of the Syrdarya River by 10-20%, flow of the Syrdarya River by 30%," Deputy Minister Rahimzoda said.

The basin of the Syrdarya River can't meet all water needs of the countries of the region already, he added.

The Central Asian states should adopt restrictive mechanisms and develop adaptation measures, as not only growing water needs, but also demographic growth in the countries of the region contribute to glacier degradation, the Deputy Minister said.

All countries of the region undertake actions to prevent glaciers melting. Tajikistan has finished preparation of the third national report on climate change. Adaptation measures should be adopted collaboratively to be prepared for climate change, he emphasized.

Tajikistan and its partners are working now on a project of 5-year expedition to study conditions of glaciers. Research institutes of 13 countries of the world expressed readiness to join the project. The first such expedition of Soviet and German researchers took place in 1928-1933. The second was organized in late 1950-s.

"There are research reports on selected glaciers, but a comprehensive, fundamental research of conditions of glaciers is necessary. A meeting with potential donors is planned for the next year, who may provide funding for the given expedition," the Deputy Minister said.

Representatives of relevant institutions of Central Asian countries and Afghanistan, senior officials from various UN entities and regional organizations as well as international experts are participating in the seminar.

The two day event is co-organized by the United Nations Regional Center for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCCA), Executive Committee of the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea (EC IFAS), Regional Office of UNESCO, World Bank and with support of the U.S. Government.

The purpose of the seminar is to discuss the process of implementation of the recommendations adopted at the first seminar on this subject held in 2013, as well as to exchange views on ways to strengthen regional cooperation in the area of adaptation to climate change, risk reduction related to natural disasters, to improve scientific and technical cooperation, as well as the collaboration in the sphere of education and interaction with the public.

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Publication:AKIpress News Agency
Geographic Code:9TAJI
Date:Nov 12, 2014
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