Oasis around Mounts Syunt and Hasar

Protected by two ridges of Mounts Syunt and Hasar, the valley of the Sumbar river is a wonderful corner of nature. The endlessly long Aydere gorge, partly included in the Syunt-Hasardag State Nature Reserve of the Ministry of Agriculture and Environment Protection of Turkmenistan, stretches there. The river of the same name, repeating the bends of the canyon’s sides, has a fast and stormy current, many small waterfalls – the most beautiful one can be found in the side gorge of the Sumbar valley called Gochdemir, and also rapids, rifts, chutes and shallow areas where moisture-loving and aquatic plants cling to the walls. Walking along this wide corridor, you can imagine yourself in a botanical garden, looking at the tall elm trees, which in the East are called karagach. These fast-growing light-loving deciduous giants are able to withstand cold and heat equally well. The tree adorns both the south and the north of the country, thus attracting the attention of gardeners and ecologists. There, low trees of Acer turcomanicum coexist with thickets of barberry and wild rose, rare wild-growing trees of Malus turkmenorum and Pyrus boissieriana are hidden in the thick of the forest. The place near the water is occupied by walnut trees and white-trunked plane trees, wild grapes and lush blackberry bushes “cling” to smooth rocks, and fig and cherry plum trees have chosen the dry

Parrots Live in the Parks of Ashgabat

For many decades, sparrows and ringdoves have been the habitual birds inhabiting the courtyards, public gardens and parks of Ashgabat. Each morning began with the cheerful chirping of joyous sparrows making a fuss in the courtyards and on flowerbeds and the clanging of modest, delicate ringdoves that fearfully took off frequently flapping, gained height, spreading their wings and tail, and landed thrown by Ashgabat well-wishers. When multi-storey buildings appeared in the capital, an increasing number of wild blue pigeons settled down in the attics and empty roofs of high-rise buildings. In the early 2000s, exotic common mynas. In spring and autumn, other birds can be seen in the city; they stop for rest and feeding during the flight. The desert species of avifauna can fly from the Karakum Desert to feast on flowers of the maclura and mulberry fruits. However, all these birds of the local or migratory feathered fraternity have long become familiar; their appearance, sounds of voices and habits have become easily recognisable.

In the Neighbourhood of “the Crocodiles of the Desert”

I spent my childhood up to 12 years in the desert, among salty takyrs and saxaul thickets. Nature was right in the palm of my hand – its riches, beauty and diversity were a gift for us, children, and the changeable weather of the Karakum Desert was something like a school of life and helped us grow up. The memory retained many meetings with different animals inhabiting the sandy hills, and each time it was a small, personal discovery for the boys who were always ready for new impressions and experiences. One story is about the desert monitor lizard, or zemzen in Turkmen – one of the most fascinating representatives of the fauna of Turkmenistan, an important element of natural ecosystems and a species that maintains the balance and regulates the numbers of rodents and other small animals. Nature has given it the most remarkable appearance among the inhabitants of the Karakum Desert. It is also called “the crocodile of the desert”, however in fact, it is just a large lizard with a head on a massive neck, a gaze of eyes protected by thick separate eyelids and a movable forked tongue. If you disturb the reptile, it begins to hiss menacingly and takes on a frightening look. The strong tail is its adornment and weapon.

Water is a valuable property

Our ancestors respected and rationally used water resources. Water is a primary necessity not only in the lives of people, but also in the lives of plants and animals. In this regard, our ancestors created numerous proverbs, such as «A drop of water is a grain of gold», «Soil is a treasure, water is a diamond», «Water decorates the earth, the swan decorates the water», «Water places are beautiful, waterless places are a desert» and we tried to observe them. This approach is due to the environmental conditions and the acute shortage of water for our people. That is why our people followed the traditions of farmers and could have a plentiful harvest with less water, could provide themselves with a normal way of life. They have gained valuable experience in the use of rainwater. Our wise forefathers, having gained valuable experience in the construction of water structures since ancient times, built such wonderful irrigation structures as the dam, jykyr, well, kariz, sardoba. They built Soltanbent, Gowshutbent in Murgap, Garribent on the Tejen River. They could water the arable land by raising the water higher with the help of dams. Our people used jykyr in the Dashoguz region and the Amuderya region to irrigate medium-sized arable land. They built a kariz to irrigate arable land in the mountainous areas of Ahal. Kariz is an underground irrigation facility made by hand, wh

Responsible development: Nature, Economics and Technology

United by understanding the importance of a multifaceted and systemic dialogue on the development of the Caspian region, the five coastal states – Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan and Russia – are again preparing for a meeting already at the Second Caspian Economic Forum to determine further prospects for international cooperation in the Caspian region. The forum is to be held in Moscow in August this year. During two days, various discussion platforms will discuss the development of trade and economic relations among the states of the Caspian region, interaction in the fields of transport, infrastructure, energy and ecology. Cooperation with the Caspian states is one of the main priorities in the foreign policy of the President of Turkmenistan. Turkmenistan backs up important political decisions taken at the highest level with specific mutually beneficial projects that meet high international environmental standards. Historical Prologue

In the Land of Deep Canyons

Turkmenistan is the land of the most ancient civilisations, its centres of culture and agriculture of different time periods are an archaeological Klondike for the representatives of the scientific world. The very beautiful natural landscapes with a contrasting microclimate and unique nature, where ecosystems of mountains, deserts and the sea coexist, “breathe” with history. The Koytendag Mountains, a land of legends, unique natural monuments and distinctive traditions, attractive in the ecological, scientific, geological, historical, cognitive and aesthetic terms, have many notable natural attractions. The word “Koytendag” means “mountains of deep canyons”. There, the highest mountains in the country with deep lakes and long karst caves are located. The natural beauty of those places is mostly protected within the Koytendag State Natural Reserve of the Ministry of Agriculture and Environment Protection of Turkmenistan.

Saxaul Wood at Lake Zengi-Baba

In the north of Turkmenistan, there is a kind of green-blue oasis among the desert steppes with channels and collectors connecting the lakes, around which separate ecosystems, “islands of life”, surrounded by coastal shrub vegetation, have formed. The total area of the water basin of one of the largest lakes in the country, Zengi-Baba, is 2,470 hectares, it was formed as a result of filling the depression at the north-western side of the hill of the same name with collector-drainage waters coming from the agricultural areas of the Dashoguz velayat. The maximum depth in the eastern part of the reservoir reaches 16 metres. On the northern side, the Kangakyr upland adjoins the reservoir with a chink steep descent. The southern and eastern banks are gently sloping, on their sandy areas xerophytic vegetation, black saxaul woods and wormwood communities with the participation of saltworts, grows. Besides, in some places, there is the tamarisk and camel thorn, and reeds are well developed closer to the water. There is no permanently residing population in those places; distant-pasture animal husbandry is developed to a small extent.ö

Triumph of Peace and Good

From ancient times, many peoples have associated the arrival of spring with the beginning of a new life, permeated with joy from warm days and the blessed rays of the sun that awaken nature from winter sleep, when buds swell on the branches of trees, the first flowers bloom, and everything around is covered with a green carpet. The earth is entering a magical period of renewal of nature, and people celebrate this event with a big holiday, Nowruz, wishing good, warmth and prosperity to their neighbours. Living for centuries as a symbol of peace, friendship and good neighbourliness, colourful Nowruz was awarded international status as a phenomenon strengthening relations among states and popularising the historical and cultural traditions of the peoples of the East. Every year, on the eve of spring celebrations, themed exhibitions devoted to the national holiday of Nowruz are opened at the temples of art of our country.

Koytendag – the Land of the unique beauty and sound Health

Turkmenistan is a country extremely rich in historical, cultural and natural monuments. One of the most beautiful places in our country is the Koytendag region, which attracts travelers and leisure lovers with its magnificent sites and extraordinary natural beauty. This fabulously beautiful corner of our country is known all over the world for its mysterious grottoes and caves, majestic gorges, water cascades sparkling in the sun, amazing waterfalls and healing mountain lakes, as well as unique fauna and flora. Getting into any of the gorges, lakes and caves, one can find himself in the fantastic world filled with unique beauty peculiar only to the Koytendag mountains. The caves of the Koytendag mountains, also known as Garlyk caves, including Khashimoyuk, Gulshirin, Aralik, Kepderkhana, Kapkotan, Dashyurek are very popular among tourists. These caves are famous all over the world and a visit to them leaves an unforgettable experience. As invaluable natural attractions, the Garlyk Caves are considered worthy of being included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. The underground caves of the Koytendag literally resemble the magnificent and unique palaces of the underworld. The beautiful halls, beautifully decorated with stalactites and stalagmites, are rich in beautiful forms, like in fairy tales. When light falls on magical halls covered with eternal darkness, amazing beauty aris

A Precious Gift of Nature

The complex of ecosystems of the Karakum and Kyzylkum Deserts with the exotic landscape of the arid zone and the change of unrepeatable areas of overgrown and mobile dunes, expanses of brackish, rocky, gravelly and clay-loamy soils of arid landscapes leaves an unforgettable impression. For all its seemingly unfriendliness towards travellers, this land is full of original and charming beauty. Anyone who has been there at least once, spent a night under the dome of bright stars in the steppe without electric lighting accompanying the highways and villages, will fall in love with that land forever. Such a person will be attracted by the memories of loose ridges of dunes, pink sunrise, the scorching sun of noon and a long fading sunset, brisk lizards and cheerful birdies of a bright and laced saxaul forest, fragrant herbs, night chirping sounds and a pile of saxaul coals smouldering in the night for a tea tuncha and long stories at the dastarkhan in the expedition bivouac.