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Preventing The Desertification Of The Aral Sea Region

2031 words - 9 pages



The very importance of the ecosystem stands far above the millions of innovations mankind has helped introduce into our world. The ability to sustain important forms of life which are vital to our everyday activities which include the creation of the oxygen, the clean air we are able to breathe and food sources we extract from to feed the billions of humans on a yearly basis. In a strange way, ecosystems “provide” goods and services for human beings and with the proper care of these environments, we have access to a tremendous source which is vital to maintaining human life for generations to come. Unfortunately, while ecosystems have serviced humans for hundreds of years, human responsibility for maintaining care for these ecosystems has created a tremendous decline in overall health of ecosystems across the world as a whole. According to the 2005 Millennium Assessment report, it stated that “Approximately 60% (15 out of 24) of the ecosystem services examined during the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment are being degraded or used unsustainably, including fresh water, capture fisheries, air and water purification, and the regulation of regional and local climate, natural hazards, and pests” (2005 Millennium Assessment Report).
One perspective is to take into account are the value and costs these ecosystems represent and these numbers are often very difficult to add up for future generations, who most likely pay for the mistakes of the past generations abuse of the environment. World population will continue to rise every year and this will begin to effect the amount of arable, or useable land, which can be utilized for farming and planting crops. This ultimately places the very onus of society with finding a means of preserving essential ecosystems and promote sustainable practices to continue benefitting from the services that ecosystems potentially offer society. These services include clean water, maintaining air quality, providing medicines and even have the potential to abate noise. This paper topic will detail the very challenges, tribulations, and future policy plans regarding the once abundant Aral Sea, which once was one of the premier ecosystems featured prominently throughout Central Asia.
The Aral Sea, which is situated in Central Asia between several countries, which include Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan. According to Phillip-Whish-Wilson, the Aral Sea was once the “forth largest inland body of water on earth with a surface area of 66,000 kilometers squared.” (Whish-Wilson 2002, 29). Additionally, it supported “75 percent of Central Asia’s population, and contained roughly 90% of its surface water” (Allison & Johnson 2001, 70). Soviet expansion and productivity has been linked to the degradation and shrinking of the Aral Sea following their proliferation during the early 1940’s. Bridget Morris, who has written extensively academically regarding the situation in the Aral Sea, stated that the Soviet...

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