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28 February 2017



The sixth permanent multidisciplinary seminar “Global Challenges of the 21st century” will be held in 28 February 2017, 225 aud. (71 al-Farabi Ave., Almaty, Kazakhstan).


At present time, the global current challenges should be understood as a complex of serious problems that determine the further existence of mankind.

Global challenges are the result of the uneven development of different areas of the life of modern humanity, its interaction with nature and the environment, as well as contradictions in the socio-economic, socio-natural, political, and ideological parts of people activity.

These issues affect the lives of humankind in general and Kazakhstan in particular.

This permanent seminar is designed to combine the diverse specialists, scientists and public figures who will discuss global problems facing humanity and propose some ways to resolve them, following the objectives of the UN in the field of sustainable development.

Topic of the sixth workshop: The Caspian seals are endangered.

The Caspian seal is a trans-border species and despite the fact that hunting of Caspian seals was officially outlawed in Kazakhstan in 2006, there are still factors that have an adverse effect on Caspian seals and lead to further reductions in a number of species (Sokolsky et al, 2008). These factors include reduced ice cover that prevents reproduction due to potential global warming, destruction of habitats, pollution, outbreaks of infection, reduction in food resources, co-fishing, hunting, including illegal and discomfort. All these factors have an impact at various stages in the life of seals. The level to which seals are exposed to these factors increases with agglomeration.

There are three groups of islands in the Kazakhstan sector of the Caspian Sea that are currently used by Caspian seals as haul-out sites during the shedding and migration periods: Zuid-West islands in the northern section, Durnev islands in the north-eastern section of the Caspian Sea and small islands in the northern section of Kendirli Bay in Middle Caspian.

The objective of research over the next few years in Kazakhstan is to evaluate the seals' condition and to study the population dynamics and threat factors at haul-out sites.

As the Caspian seal is acknowledged as an endangered species in the Red Book of the International Environmental Protection Union (Goodman, Dmitrieva, 2016), because of overhunting in the beginning of the XX century, the number of the seal population decreased to 90%, hence study must take a predominantly continuous character. In addition to this, research methods themselves must have minimal impact on the animals. Therefore, one of the research tasks is demonstration of some approaches to research method.

The participants of the seminar consist of scientists of KazNU, representatives of some scientific research institutes (zoology, botany, genetics, ecological problems, etc.), UNESCO experts and broad audience that has interest to sustainable development, ecology and environmental protection.

The organizer of the event is the UNESCO High School on Sustainable Development, Faculty of Geography and Environmental Sciences, al-Farabi Kazakh National University.



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