Central Asian nations all gained their independence from the former Soviet Union in 1991. Unfortunately, with their independence, they also inherited many environmental problems. By far, the most pervasive issue is the shrinking of the Aral Sea. The enormity of the environmental crisis of the Aral Sea has been attested by environmentalists both in Central Asia and in other parts of the world. In this chapter, the broad scope of the disaster is set forth along with its principle causes. An overview of the geography and water supply in the region is given. And the daunting challenge of cross boundary impact and thus need for multinational cooperation is discussed. The challenge in the region today is twofold. First, it must address the Aral Sea disaster. And second, it must create the conditions to sustainably manage transboundary water resources to head off new catastrophe.
Gadaev, A. and Yasakov, Z. (2012), "An Overview of the Aral Sea Disaster", Edelstein, M., Cerny, A. and Gadaev, A. (Ed.) Disaster by Design: The Aral Sea and its Lessons for Sustainability (Research in Social Problems and Public Policy, Vol. 20), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 5-15. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0196-1152(2012)0000020009Download as .RIS
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