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The Town of the XXI Century 

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The Town of the XXI Century
Series of reports on ecological situation in Central Asia

WORLD WIDE CONSERVATION AND ECOTOURISM

"The change in the life of the birch tree from the moment, when the first bright and still cold early spring ray shows the virgin whiteness of its bark. When the ray will make the bark warmer and a big black sleepy fly will sit on it and will continue its flight; when the filled buds will create such a chocolate-color thickness of the crown that the birds will be sitting and hiding in it; when rarely some of the buds will start to open in the brown thickness like surprised birds with green wings; when the ear-ring-like seeds appear like double or triple ended forks and when suddenly on a nice day the ear-rings will turn gold and the whole birch tree will become gold; and when in the end you will be able to come into a birch tree forest and you will be covered by the green transparency of the forest - only then following the life of a loved birch tree you will be able to understand the life of the spring and of the person and of his first love determining his life."

M.M. Prishvin, "The way to the friend"

Currently not many people read Turgenev's stories, especially his "Hunter's stories". Balanced calm rhythm of the texts does not suit modern readers, who are always in a hurry and occupied by the desire to earn money. Descriptions of the gray autumn sunrises or the spring bird talks can hardly convince young people to give up watching a new gangster movie filled with blood, money and drugs. The mood of a modern serious person is determined by the exchange rate of his country's currency in relation to the American dollar and by the mood of his boss.

Now it is commonly understood that civilization eats everything, including the people themselves, by its metal jaws. If we do not rush to save all these birch trees, lakes, rivers, hares and birds, then the civilization itself will disappear.

Here are some examples of the harmful influence of the people on the surrounding environment. The decrease in the amount of salmon in Norwegian rivers and lakes is a direct result of appearance of poisonous admixtures, which are systematically brought from Great Britain. High tubes built in Britain allow to save the territory of the country from the wastes, whoever carried by the winds the harmful substances reach the Norwegian territory.

In the end of 1950s in the United States a wide campaign to destroy red ants was started. More than 110 thousand square kilometers were "cleaned" from ants in Texas, Louisiana, Alabama and other south-eastern states of the United States. The cleaning was done from the air using granulated chemicals. As a result of this profitable agricultural operation the desired goal - complete destruction of the population of red ants - was finally achieved; however, the consequences for the fauna of the region were absolutely catastrophic. Populations of singing birds and sparrow type birds suffered the most. In Virginia populations of pike perch were left at the brink of extinction. In Alabama this type of fish was completely destroyed, and in the cleaned up regions of Arkansas the level of extinction reached 88%. Reptiles - snakes and iguanas - were seriously poisoned by the chemicals and disappeared in some of the regions for the period of several years. Finally, enthomofauna of soils and swamps in sterilized regions was seriously damaged: in Arkansas analysis of the soils showed the total population decrease of 40%.

Speaking the language of ministry reports and circulars, the nature is called "the biological diversity".

Unfortunately, this diversity gradually turns into monotony, concentrated on human beings and their interests.

STRATEGY - NOT ONLY A MILITARY WORD

In 1995 in Sofia at the Conference of ministers of the environment of the European Union member countries the "Single European strategy of biological and landscape diversity" was adopted. This was the first attempt to do something to protect the nature in Northern Eurasia. (Eurasia is a continent, washed by the Arctic ocean from the north, by Atlantic ocean - from the west and by Pacific ocean - from the east). However, when the first action plan of the Strategy was developed, all this territory was presumed as having the same problems and requiring the same solutions as Western Europe.

This issue will be devoted to the discussion of the attitudes toward nature protection in the Republic of Kazakhstan, which, the same as many other countries of Eurasia, looses its wealth: forests, animals, birds, fish.

The Republic of Kazakhstan has also developed the Strategy aimed at protecting its environment. It is called "The national strategy and action plan for preservation and balanced exploitation of the biological diversity".

Let us turn to its text:

One of the main problems, which the humanity faces at the current stage of its development is represented by the need to preserve the biological diversity. Existence of mankind depends on the effectiveness of actions developed to resolve the problem.

The biological diversity - all plants, microorganisms and animals, and also ecological systems, developed in natural surroundings and created by human beings.

Kazakhstan situated in the center of Eurasia is well-known for its beauty and natural wealth. On its territory geographers identify 5 types of plain landscapes - forest-steppe landscapes, steppe landscapes, dry steppe ones, semi desert and desert type landscapes; mountainous landscapes are divided into 7 types: cornfield type landscapes, mountainous grass field landscapes, forest type ones, forest steppe landscapes, steppe, semi-desert and desert type landscapes.

More than 6 thousands types of plants, 5 thousands types of mushrooms, 500 types of lichens, 2 thousands types of sea-weeds and 500 types of moss-like plants grow on the soils of Kazakhstan.

The land, water and air are inhabited by 835 kinds of spinal animals, including 178 kinds of mammals, 489 kinds of birds, 49 kinds of reptiles, 12 kinds of earth-and-water animals, 104 kinds of fish, 3 kinds of round-mouthed animals" - this is how the whole family of flying, running and crawling living creatures is represented in Kazakhstan. Ichtiologists, zoologists, entomologists have carefully counted all of these neighbors of human beings.

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