On 22 May 2023 the 2nd Meeting of the International Network on Salt-affected Soils (INSAS) has started in Tashkent. The major international forum brings together experts from over 30 countries, including Australia, Armenia, Bangladesh, Central Asian countries, China, Egypt, France, Georgia, Italy, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Pakistan, Senegal, Spain, Tanzania, the United Arab Emirates and others.
«The International Network on Salt-affected Soils brings together 700 experts from 120 countries around the world. The main solutions that we propose are, first, to change the tactics of farming in the areas affected by salinity, which includes transforming agro-food systems and introducing new crops, which are called colophytes and grow precisely on saline lands. Less than 1% of all crops are colophytes, and we raise public awareness of this for further implementation of these crops. The second very important decision is to increase soil fertility, managing their water-physical condition, increasing carbon content and improving their porosity and physical condition», – said Maria Konyushkova, coordinator of the International Network on Salt-affected Soils (INSAS).
The purpose of the 2nd meeting of INSAS is to review the progress done by the network in the past two years (2021-2022) since INSAS’ first virtual meeting, discuss and identify the priorities for the network, develop a work plan for 2023-2024, strengthen cooperation between the members of INSAS, improve capacities of the members by trainings.
The program of the event includes a workshop on salt-affected soils, technical sessions of working groups of INSAS on Assessment, Sustainable soil management, Water and Crops, as well as a field visit to the Aral Sea, which remains one of the bitter examples when anthropogenic factors and mismanagement of water resources caused a large-scale environmental disaster.
The event is supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, the World Bank, the Science and Technology Research Partnership for Sustainable Development (SATREPS) and the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality of the Netherlands.