Is it something closer to a dream to change a desert nation’s climate? Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov ordered a forest planted to fulfill a similar dream of his. The latest of the autocratic leader’s elaborate projects include an artificial lake and an ice palace.
The new “millennial” cypress forest will cover an area of 1,000 square kilometers (386 square miles). “The climate will improve considerably if we do that… The archa, a kind of cypress tree, lives a thousand years. This will be a millennial forest,” Niyazov told.
Niyazov would allocate each ministry with an area where it will have to plant a certain number of trees within three years. It is by 2015, the 20-kilometer (12-mile) -wide and 50-kilometer (31-mile) -long forest outside the capital Ashgabat must grow, Niyazov said.