Sand-And-Dust Storm Impacts and Benefits from Reduction: Aral Sea Basin Regional Overview
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Claudio Zucca. (17/9/2020). Sand-And-Dust Storm Impacts and Benefits from Reduction: Aral Sea Basin Regional Overview.
The Aral Sea crisis is one of the biggest environmental disasters in the world. During the last decades, it has shrunk to around 10% of its original size, disrupting the water cycle and creating dangers to human health. The exposed seabed has become a regional hotspot source of sand and dust storms (SDS). Contaminants from past agricultural and industrial activities, residing in the sea bed, are now exposed and, aided by sandstorms, contaminate the air and the surrounding ecosystems. Urgent strategies including interventions for reduction of dust generation at source and mitigation of impacts on society need to be designed. The World Bank (WB) has undertaken initiatives to achieve reduction of dust generation from the Aral Seabed in Uzbekistan by means of targeted forestation interventions. In collaboration with the WB, ICARDA (International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry areas) is conducting a study aimed at measuring and valuating the effects of soil retention interventions on ecosystem services. This literature review on the impacts of SDS in the Aral region is aimed at setting the stage for the study.