Environmental experts have rung the death knell for the Aral Sea in Central Asia.
The world’s fourth largest lake in 1960, the Aral Sea has already shrunk to half its former size — a result of unsustainable cotton cultivation that began less than 40 years ago. But though the sea itself can no longer be saved, its toxic salt plains have paradoxically given rise to a new spirit in the region.
The Aral Sea is only the epicentre of the «tragedy», as Central Asians commonly refer to this legacy of environmental misuse; the damage has also consumed thousands of surrounding square kilometers. Called «the most staggering disaster of the twentieth century» by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Aral Sea basin intersects all five Central Asian republics — Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan — which lie in a 690,000-square-kilometer landlocked zone.
Mr. Yusup Kamalov is Chair of Union for Defence of the Aral Sea and Amudarya.
Mr. Yusup Kamalov in 1989, together with associates founded the Union for the Degence of the Aral Sea and Amudarya (UDASA) and from 1994 to date serves as its chairman. UDASA — the first non-governmental organization in Uzbekistan, founded on the initiative of the «bottom to top.»
Mr. Yusup Kamalov was born in 1951. He graduated from the Moscow Energy Institute in 1975 on a specialty «Industrial power.» Worked 2 years as head of boiler shift in Tahiyatash District power station. Since the end of 1977 was an intern at the Computer Center of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR in Moscow, in the laboratory of mathematical ecology. From 1979 to 1982 he was a postgraduate student of the CC in the same laboratory. Since 1982, he has been working in the Karakalpak branch of the Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Uzbekistan in different directions and positions, since 1987 — only in the field of renewable energy, mainly wind power.
Also Mr. Yusup Kamalov is currently working as a Chairman of the Global Water Partnership (GWP) for Central Asia and the Caucasus since 2010.
Written and directed by Danila Volkov
DOP: Yan Shevtsov
General producer: Danila Volkov
Line producer: German Artemov
Line producer — Valera Tsygankov
Colorist — Misha Denisov
Technical: Max Golov
Editing: Andrei Alexandrov
Music: Elman Guseinov