In the framework of the GIZ project Environmentally Oriented Regional Development of the Aral Sea Region (ECO ARAL), the representatives of the Ministry of Ecology, Environmental Protection and Climate Change of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Ministry of Agriculture and Nature Conservation of Turkmenistan met to discuss cooperation on the Ustyurt Plateau in 18th of May 2023.

During the meeting, the Institute of Zoology of Uzbekistan presented the latest data on migrating animal species along the border fence between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. The monitoring was carried out as part of the recently introduced SMART monitoring and patrolling system, which was introduced with support of the GIZ ECO ARAL project and the Michael Succow Stiftung. New camera traps, showed a large number of wild animals along the border fence.

Also, during the meeting the participants discussed close cooperation between the two protected areas and formulated concrete actions to be taken, considering a possible establishment of a transboundary protected area.

The participants from Kazakhstan presented plans for the new Ustyurt protected area cluster. This will be adjacent to the Uzbek Southern Ustyurt National Park. Representatives of Turkmenistan presented monitoring data from the Kaplankyr Reserve and expressed interest in participating in future discussions.

The meeting reaffirmed the commitments made by the countries under the United Nations Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals and the Central Asian Mammal Initiative Action Plan to protect Central Asian mammals and ensure their natural migration.

The meeting concluded with a trip to Lake Sudoche-Akpetki and a visit to the Aral Sea.