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Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law [MPEPIL]

Amu Darya and Syr Darya Rivers and Aral Sea

George (Rock) Pring, Braden Angel

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved.date: 24 June 2021

Regional co-operation — International watercourses — Marine environment, protection — Sustainable development — Natural resources

Published under the auspices of the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law under the direction of Professor Anne Peters (2021–) and Professor Rüdiger Wolfrum (2004–2020). 

1 The two main sources of water in the Aral Sea basin of Central Asia, the Amu Darya and the Syr Darya, have been so diverted for irrigation in the last half century that the Aral Sea, once the world’s fourth–largest freshwater lake, has shrunk to less than a quarter of its volume. The depletion of the sea and these two international watercourses has been called the ‘most staggering disaster of the 20th century’ by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) (Grabish 38), as it has led to desertification of the area, destruction of terrestrial and aquatic...
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