About the project

The regional project Ecologically oriented development in the Aral Sea Region (ECO ARAL) is commissioned by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. It supports the governments of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan to ensure an ecologically sustainable and climate-resilient economic development across borders.

Partners are regional administrations in the four target regions: the Republic of Karakalpakstan & Khorezm in Uzbekistan and Mangystau & Kyzylorda in Kazakhstan. All activities are carried out in close collaboration with regional, national, and local institutions of the public and private sector as well as national and international research institutions.


With every implemented activity, the project has a positive impact on the sustainable economic development of the Aral Sea region through introduction of ecological business solutions and support in planning processes for investments that consider environmental aspects and the sustainable use of natural resources.

Overall, ECO ARAL supports the Uzbek and Kazakh governments to create sustainable and resilient economic development of the Aral Sea region and improve the livelihoods of the population.

Selected Impacts


The ECO ARAL project supports identifying and piloting sustainable business activities to highlight and inform the public and private sector about environmentally friendly production and income generation. In parallel, the project strengthens the capacity of farmers and owners of Micro, Small, and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) to make investment decisions with a “Do no harm to nature” approach and consider climate risks. Parallelly, project activities transform commercial exploitation of local natural resources like artemia, sesame and licorice root into an environmentally friendly and climate resilient production. The introduction of resource-efficient methods to businesses and the population, such as composting organic waste, water-saving technology, crop diversification and natural solutions in pest control, is another activity area.

Activities are not limited to the private sector and businesses. ECO ARAL also supports the effective use of geographic information systems (GIS) and remote sensing in public planning and investment processes. Through GIS, academic and governmental institutions can utilize digital tools in water & crop management, afforestation of the dried Aral Seabed, nature conservation, wildlife monitoring and eco-tourism efforts. All project measures are closely interlinked between Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, benefitting from each other through knowledge and technological exchange.


The project’s work focuses on the population of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan living around the Aral Sea. They directly benefit through training in environmentally responsible business production and new ways of income generation. Furthermore, by supporting local and national administrations and academic institutions in GIS application, territorial development and investment planning become replicable and more efficient. All activities of the project use sustainable economic growth potentials in the Aral Sea Region to support the population in securing livelihoods and the protection of ecosystems.