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Prof N. Kharin, Deputy Director of the Desert Institute, described the geography of the land-locked region of Central Asia. The new states in the region have inherited an ecological disaster from the former Soviet Union. During the span of one generation, 80% of the Aral Sea basin has become subject to desertification and the area of the sea itself has been reduced in half. Among the programmes underway in Turkmenistan are: supplying the population with water, electrical power and gas to substitute for fuelwood; requiring each of Turkmenistan's 4 million people to plant two saplings per year; and satellite monitoring and analysis of desertification trends.