NEWS AND EVENTS
October 31, 2010
Delegation of Ecologic movement of Uzbekistan visits USA
A delegation of Ecologic Movement of Uzbekistan paid a visit to the United States and held negotiations with the US environment non-governmental organizations, Congress members and the State Department.
During the meeting with the representatives of US Congress and State Department, the Uzbek delegation briefed the US side on mission and activity of the Ecological Movement and its MPs group in parliament on development of ecological legislation and control over execution of environment and health laws. The Uzbek delegation also provided information on cooperation with international organizations on solving trans-boundary environment problems, including Aral.
The Uzbek side also drew attention to negative consequences of construction of hydro power station at Amudarya upper course Ė Rogun hydro power station Ė for states and peoples of the region. The delegation also attracted attention to pollution of Surkhandarya region territory with industrial emissions of Tajik Aluminum Plant (TALCO).
Representatives of the US Congress and the State Department agreed with opinion that single approach on use of water resources of trans-boundary rivers of Central Asia could bring to fatal consequences and the state should act on trans-boundary rivers in line with international norms and conventions of the UN. It was said that both Tajikistan and the World Bank should not concede unreasoned movements. The US side drew attention to accident at aluminum plant in Hungary in October 2010, which polluted large territory of Dunai basin, Ecologic movementís press service said.
Michel Gu, head of the Committee on Energy Independences and Global Warming of the US Congress Representative House, said that it is better to finance small projects on development of renewable energy rather than giant hydro power stations.
US Congress and State Department representatives noted that Ecologic Movement is unique non-governmental organization, possessing fraction in parliament of the country. MPs represent all regions and they are specialists in various industries, which allows to solve ecological problems at professional level. It was said that it is important that Ecologic Movement is not limiting with national frame, but also works in the Central Asian region. Uzbekistan accumulated interesting experience of interaction between NGOs with legislative and executive powers of the country. It was said that opportunity to solve issues at parliamentary level opens new perspectives for effective solving environmental problems and smoothening consequences of climate change and trans-boundary ecological problems. It was noted that existence of Ecologic Movementís MPs group at parliament opens new opportunities and US Congress will support these efforts.
The Uzbek delegation also held a meeting with the representatives of the World Bank and participated at the sessions of the Annual World Bank and International Monetary Fund.
World Bank representatives underlined progress on solving ecological problems, achieved by the Ecological Movement for last two years on interaction with public. It was said that statement of the Ecological Movement and parliament of Uzbekistan on trans-boundary problems has special meaning. Now, the World Bank returned to consideration of issues related to Rogun power station construction project.
Deputy chairperson of the Executive Committee of Central Council of Ecologic Movement of Uzbekistan Mr Sanginov said that the World Bank positively rated request of the Ecologic Movement on holding open tender on selection of international experts and the World Bank should participate in control over works of experts and their work should financed directly by the bank.
Mr Sanginov said that it seems World Bank position on investing to hydro power station changed and the bank gingerly approaches to project analysis and their expertise and take into account position of Uzbekistan on these issues.
He emphasized that representatives of the civil society criticized policy of the bank in energy sphere at the annual session of the World Bank. In the result, the World Bank representatives said they will change strategy and increase investments to development of small hydro power stations and renewable energy.
During the visit to the US, the delegation also visited representatives of local NGOs, including National Democratic Institute, Control over Food and Water, Center international ecological law and others.
It was noted that it is necessary to develop international cooperation in solving problems related to Aral Sea drying and nature degradation in Aral Sea Basin, as well as possible consequences of construction of gigantic hydro power stations at upper course of rivers in Central Asia.
The Uzbek side presented information on pollution of environment in the result of activity of Tajik Aluminum Plant (TALCO), its impact to health of Surkhandarya regionís population. The Uzbek side also expressed their concerns with the plans of Tajik plant, which will further aggravate difficult environment situation in this region.
The US NGOs expressed great interest to presented information and activity of the Ecologic Movement on development of partnership of international organization, in particular on regional problems. They supported position of Ecologic Movement on issues related to use of resources of trans-boundary rivers of Central Asia and non-admission of construction of large hydro power stations. They also expressed interest in cooperation with the Uzbek movement in solving trans-boundary ecological problems in the region.