Building bridges among scientists, decision-makers and the civil society

Marton Krasznai

Short Communications


The tragedy of the Aral Sea left the countries of the basin to cope with grave environmental, economic, social, and health problems. Achieving environmental sustainability in the Aral Sea basin requires major, long-term efforts at the national and regional levels. What give special urgency to this task is the new challenges looming large on the horizon. Population growth and economic development result in increased demand for water and might aggravate environmental pollution. Recent studies and modeling of the effects of climate change forecast changes in weather patterns and river flows that are expected to reduce the amount of water available in the vegetation season. The established practice of water resources management that is already under considerable strain today may not be able to cope with the challenges of tomorrow.Many of these challenges can only be effectively addressed through regional action. To resolve disputes and strengthen regional cooperation, decision-makers need to find novel, mutually agreeable, compromise solutions to existing and emerging regional problems rather than to stick to long-term entrenched positions. This would require regular, intensive work in the framework of regional bodies. Broader use of information and analysis for decision making would further strengthen the work of these bodies. All IFAS 1decision making bodies –the Inter-State Commission on Sustainable Development, the Inter-State Commission on Water Coordination, the Executive Committee of IFAS and the IFAS Board -would profit from higher quality decision support.

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Central Asia, civil society, decision-makers, scientists, water security