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Environment
Turkmenistan is mainly a desert country with arid land and a high amount of biodiversity.1 The recent increase of agricultural activities has led to erosion, further desertification, and the disappearance of already scarce water resources. While the government does have some policies in place to combat the negative effects of climate change, the implementation of these policies is not cohesive and there are vast regional disparities. Environmental protection has not been a pressing national priority.1

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1 http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0022/002214/221497e.pdf
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Turkmenistan News

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Geography

Central Asia, bordering the Caspian Sea, between Iran and Kazakhstan
Area

Total 488,100 sq km
Land 469,930 sq km
Water 18,170 sq km

Climate

subtropical desert
Natural Resources

petroleum, natural gas, sulfur, salt ;
Natural Hazards

NA
Current Environmental Issues

contamination of soil and groundwater with agricultural chemicals, pesticides; salination, water logging of soil due to poor irrigation methods; Caspian Sea pollution; diversion of a large share of the flow of the Amu Darya into irrigation contributes to that river's inability to replenish the Aral Sea; desertification

Demographics

Nationality
Turkmen
Population
5,113,040 (July 2013 est.)
Ethnic Groups
Languages
Religions

Finances

Turkmenistan is largely a desert country with intensive agriculture in irrigated oases and sizeable gas and oil resources. The two largest crops are cotton, most of which is produced for export, and wheat, which is domestically consumed. Although agriculture accounts for roughly 8% of GDP, it continues to employ nearly half of the country's workforce. Turkmenistan's authoritarian regime has taken a cautious approach to economic reform, hoping to use gas and cotton export revenues to sustain its inefficient and highly corrupt economy. Privatization goals remain limited. From 1998-2005, Turkmenistan suffered from the continued lack of adequate export routes for natural ...See More gas and from obligations on extensive short-term external debt. At the same time, however, total exports rose by an average of roughly 15% per year from 2003-08, largely because of higher international oil and gas prices. Additional pipelines to China, that began operation in early 2010, and increased pipeline capacity to Iran, have expanded Turkmenistan''s export routes for its gas. Overall prospects in the near future are discouraging because of endemic corruption, a poor educational system, government misuse of oil and gas revenues, and Ashgabat''s reluctance to adopt market-oriented reforms. The majority of Turkmenistan''s economic statistics are state secrets. The present government established a State Agency for Statistics, but GDP numbers and other publicized figures are subject to wide margins of error. In particular, the rate of GDP growth is uncertain. Since his election, President BERDIMUHAMEDOW unified the country''s dual currency exchange rate, ordered the redenomination of the manat, reduced state subsidies for gasoline, and initiated development of a special tourism zone on the Caspian Sea. Although foreign investment is encouraged, and some improvements in macroeconomic policy have been made, numerous bureaucratic obstacles impede international business activity. Show Less ;
GDP Purchasing Power Parity

$49.75 billion (2012 est.); $44.84 billion (2011 est.); $39.11 billion (2010 est.)
Gross National Saving

14.6% of GDP (2012 est.); 11.6% of GDP (2011 est.); 12% of GDP (2010 est.)
Agriculture Products

cotton, grain, melons; livestock
Industries

natural gas, oil, petroleum products, textiles, food processing