This student is from Uzbekistan. After several phone calls she has come to
a dead end trying to find out what programs or support there is through the
UN for developing projects to address the eco-catastrophe of the Aral Sea
and surrounding areas. We have identified some possibilities with USAID,
and have been told that Green Peace may be working (or interested in
working) there. However, Green Peace is focusing on Chernoble, mostly,
with offices in Moscow and Kiev. More options are needed, NGO's and
This area, and its people, suffers from a seriously damaged ecosystem.
There was excessive use of pesticides to grow cotton (which was introduced)
and poor use of irrigation (greatly lowered the level of the Aral Sea,
changed the climate, produced extensive salinization, destroyed a fishing
industry, etc.). The former "official programs" resettled mountain
villages to produce a labor supply. Now there is a complex mess of
astronomical proportions like none I could imagine --
urban/health/nutritional/economic/cultural/and-more crises. As a
biologist, she is interested first in addressing issues resulting directly
from agriculture, but she has two other "old friends" who could team with
her on economic and medical issues. All are experienced in "real world"
action, which means not simply recent graduates without a sense of reality.