TERESA team member joined the Special Public Commission on urban development of the territory of Small Taldykol lakes in Astana

The surface area of Small Taldykol lakes is shrinking due to continuous land reclamation for urban development

In the recent years, the fate of Small Taldykol lakes has become one of the main environmental issues in Astana, the capital of the Republic of Kazakhstan. For the last 2.5 years, the lake surface area of these water bodies have experienced significant shrinkage due to mainly anthropogenic actions. According to city development plan, the territory of the lakes is expected to be built up with residential and social infrastructure. As a result, substantial portions of the lake bodies were filled with soil and construction waste for land reclamation purposes. This decision was met with strong opposition from the local ecological groups, residents of nearby housing complexes and other socially active citizens. This confrontation has been lasting for the last 2 years and in order to organize a professional and independent consideration of this problem the Special Public Commission is formed on the basis of the Working Group on Water Supply and Sanitation of the Association of Environmental Organisations of Kazakhstan. The member of the INOWAS research group Nurlan Ongdas and one of the collaborators of TERESA project Vadim Yapiyev were selected as members of this Commission. Joining this commission gives an opportunity to share results of the TERESA project to a wider audience, assist this Commission with a science-based opinions as well as evidence during the preparation of recommendation for responsible state authorities.