On August 24 President Shavkat Mirziyoyev chaired a video conference on improving the environmental situation, effective organization of tree protection and expanding green areas.
Uzbekistan, as much as countries across the world, is facing growing number of environmental problems. The reason is both natural and human factors.
Thus, over the past four years, the number of industrial enterprises in Uzbekistan has doubled, the dust level and gas content in the cities exceeded the norm fourfold. In the regions of the country, the area of green spaces has decreased to 3-4 times. The level of surface and underground waters has decreased.
The population is unhappy about the facts of construction on vacant plots between multi-storey buildings, reduction of green areas and cutting down trees, despite the declared moratorium.
The State Committee for Ecology and Environmental Protection, authorities on the ground do not take the initiative and do not carry out practical work in this direction.
In this regard, the problems in the sphere were critically considered. Alisher Maksudov, Chairman of the State Committee for Ecology and Environmental Protection, was dismissed for his inability to organize systematic work on the ground.
The important tasks to improve the environmental situation and expand green areas were identified at the meeting.
The President assigned a task to plant 55 million of young trees this autumn and 70 million of young mulberry, paulownia, maple, oak, walnut, oleaster, pople plants as well as other fruit and ornamental trees next spring.
It was noted, that for tree care it is necessary to appoint one worker to each makhalla (the local neighborhood community area), as well as at least five workers to district and city redevelopment departments.
The khokims (governors) of the regions were instructed to restore 4,5 thousand kilometers of internal irrigation networks in cities and regional centers.
A pre-planting preparation of young trees plays an important role in improving the ecology and expanding green areas. For example, paulownia seedings have been established in Andijan, Pakhtabad and Markhamat Districts. Alternatively, each household in the villages of Khojaiduk and Omonkuton of the Urgut District, harvested two thousand seedlings of ornamental trees.
In order to support such farms, to provide the population with high-quality seedlings, it is planned to create «Yashil Zamin» funds in each region.
The responsible officials were instructed to allocate plots for nurseries on a competitive basis, to distribute seedlings of fruit and ornamental trees to the population at the expense of the «Yashil Zamin» funds.
A particular attention is given to the organizing of green areas and public parks in the cities.
For example, 11 and 27 hectares of the Alisher Navoi Park in the city of Karshi have been turned into a «quiet zone» without rides. Space for reading, pedestrian and cycling paths are available.
At the same time, about 300 recreation parks around the country are run by various ministries and departments, most of them are abandoned.
Therefore, the responsible officials have been instructed to carry out a complete inventory of trees in all recreation parks and to increase the number of public parks. It is stated that 70% of recreation parks should be green areas, where there are no buildings and structures.
President has emphasized the need to create one place to walk in each district of Tashkent and one green zone in each makhalla with multi-storey buildings. Ornamental trees should be also planted along 60 kilometers of canals and 250 kilometers of sidewalks. The khokim (mayor) of the city of Tashkent has been given appropriate instructions.
As it is well-known, in accordance with the Concept for the Protection of the Environment of the Republic of Uzbekistan approved by the Resolution of the President, a moratorium on felling of valuable varieties of trees and shrubs has been introduced until 2030. Thanks to this measure, effective until December 31, 2020, 316 thousand trees have been saved from cutting. However, despite this, about five thousand trees were illegally felled.
In this regard, the President ordered to consolidate measures to protect trees. In particular, the moratorium on felling of trees will be extended until 2024; the responsibility for violating it will be significantly strengthened. It is strictly prohibited to cut trees in green areas and public parks.
An environmental police will be established in Tashkent and regional centers. Its duties include combating offenses in the sphere of ecology, including illegal tree felling, emitting of wastes in the wrong place, poaching and others.
At the same time, the fine amounts in ecology will be increased five times, and the extent of compensation for damage caused - two times
It was also touched upon the issue of waste collection and recycling. As it was noted, the waste management has improved in the regions due to establishing of public-private partnerships.
In particular, in the city of Namangan, in Turakurgan, Mingbulak and Namangan districts, the coverage of makhallas with sanitary services reached 92%, and the income doubled. A waste sorting plant was put into operation for the first time in Ferghana with the attraction of investments for 7 billion Uzbek soums.
The importance of the dissemination of this experience in other regions, the implementation of new projects based on partnerships with the private sector was pointed out.
The need for the development of environmental science and innovations was emphasized. Today, only 10% of more than 2 thousand employees of the State Committee for Ecology and Environmental Protection are subject matter experts.
In this regard, the instructions were given to improve the activities of the research and development centre under the committee, to develop the staff training, especially the research workers.
For this, the institute will be equipped with modern technology and laboratory facilities. The quotas for doctoral studies will be doubled. The institute plans to establish the Board of Studies for awarding degrees in ecology and environmental protection.
The responsible officials reported on the issues discussed at the meeting.