Agreement of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Republic of Kyrgyzstan, Republic of Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Republic of Uzbekistan on joint activities in addressing the Aral Sea

Signed 26 March 1993

Agreement on joint activities in addressing the Aral Sea and the zone around the Sea crisis, improving the environment, and enduring the social and economic development of the Aral Sea region

Republic of Kazakhstan, Republic of Kyrgyzstan, Republic of Tajikistan, Tuskmenistan, and Republic of Uzbekistan, hereinafter referred to as states-participants:

Taking into account the global character of the Aral Sea designation and the associated deterioration of the environment in the zone close to the Sea, as well as the overall ecological crisis resulting from the deficit of water resources in the basin;

Realizing the danger of the process taking place to the health and well-being of the people in the region, and its negative impact on the environment in other regions, the air basin balance, the economic development and basic functioning of the Aral region, and its negative impact on the environment in other regions, the air basin balance, the economic development and basic functioning of the Aral region countries;

Recognizing the necessity and urgency of uniting material and financial resources in order to overcome the crisis an environmental safety system in the region, primarily in the zone around the Sea;

Confirming their commitment to the international water law principles, respecting the mutual interests of each of the sovereign states-participants of this Agreement in the matters of usage and protection of water resources in the basin, proceeding from the necessity of preserving the Sea;

Agreed upon the following:


States-participants recognize as common objectives:

  • ensuring rational usage of the limited land and water resources of the Aral Sea basin in order to ensure the necessary social and economic development and well-being of their people;
  • maintaining the required water quality in the rivers, reservoirs, and springs, due to an, in future, preventing the release into these bodies of industrial and urban waste waters, and polluted and mineralized collector and drainage waters;
  • ensuring the water inflows to the Aral Sea required for sustaining its lowered but stable, ecologically acceptable, levels and by this means preserving the Sea as an object of nature;
  • restoring the balance of the destroyed ecosystems in the region, primarily in the Amudarja and Syrdarja Deltas and on the exposed seabed areas, creating manmade stable landscapes there;
  • regulating the system and enhancing the discipline of water usage in the basin, and working out the required interstate legal and regulatory acts that will provide for the application, for the region, of unified principles of indemnifying for damages;
  • improving the sanitary and medico-biological living conditions, especially for the sea zone residents, and addressing the urgent problem of a clean drinking water supply for the region;
  • working out and implementing the coordinated social and economic development strategy that would meet the requirements of environmental safety for the people in the region;
  • carrying out the measures for the protection of migrating animals, including those inhabiting the areas that border on the states-participants, and for creating the nature reserve zones;
  • on the basis of the new mutually acceptable terms that have been worked out, resuming the work on having additional water resources flow into the Aral Sea Basin;
  • fostering, to the maximum extent, scientific research, projects, and other kinds of activities aimed at the resolution of the listed tasks;
  • creating most favored nation treatment conditions, and granting privileges and protection measures to the investors that put their funds into the programs and works aimed at environmental sanitation and social and economic development of the region.

Article II

  • States-participants consider it necessary:
    • to establish, on a parity basis, the Interstate Council for the Aral Sea basin crisis, and under it
      • Standing Tashkent-based Executive Committee;
      • Commission of Social and Economic Development and Cooperation in Scientific, Technical, and Ecological Spheres
      • Coordinating Commission on Water Resources, acting in conformity with the Agreement signed on February 18, 1992 in Almaty.
  • The statute on Interstate Agreement is approved by the Heads of the states-participants
  • States-participants agreed to draft a joint conception of addressing the Aral Sea crisis and rehabilitating the environment in the area around the Sea, and to draw up a coordinated program on the scientific research and activities, and also to create a common information system of monitoring the environment and to organize issuance of the "Information Review" on the Aral Sea Basin problems.

Article III

The Russian Federation participates in the Interstate Council work as an observer in addressing the Aral Sea crisis and the rehabilitation of the disaster zone. It also provides the required financial and technical assistance in water treatment, creating the domestic and drinking water supply system in the region and fighting desertification. The Russian Federation also cooperates in the scientific and technical spheres, in designing projects of regional significance, in creating the environment monitoring system, and renders expert services and also assists in the training of specialists.

Article IV

The present Agreement is open for joining by any state interested in addressing the tasks and objectives determined within it.

This Agreement is concluded for a ten-year period and is being considered for extension for a similar time period, provided none of the states-participants rejects it.

A state-participant can withdraw from this Agreement having informed the Depository and other states-participants of its intent at least six months in advance.

Article V

The present Agreement comes into force upon signature.

Executed in Kayl-Ords on March 26, 1993 in one original copy in Russian. The original copy is kept in the Archives of the Government of the Republic of Kasakhstan, and the latter will forward the certified copy to the states that have signed this Agreement.