Expert meeting of National Policy Dialogue on Integrated Water Resources Management in Azerbaijan discusses draft National Water Strategy
29 November 2011, Baku – A consultation with international experts from the Finnish Environmental Institute (SYKE) on the draft National Water Strategy for Azerbaijan was held in Baku at the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources of Azerbaijan on 29 November 2011.
The expert consultation involving the main national stakeholders aimed to develop a plan for further developing the draft National Water Strategy. According to the international experts, the draft Strategy, prepared by a national consultant, is a good start and demonstrates a very high ambition. However, the proposed goals were challenging to implement even in countries with a higher level of institutional and legislative structures. The Strategy has to be adapted to the realities in Azerbaijan — it is not possible at this stage to transpose the European Union (EU) water legislation into national law.
During the meeting the newly created Water Resources Agency, under the Ministry of Emergency Situations, requested that it be formally included in the process by an amendment to the Memorandum of Understanding on the European Union Water Initiative National Policy Dialogue (EUWI NPD).
At the meeting, it was that a second draft of the Water Strategy, to be prepared by a group of national experts under the supervision of national consultant according to an outline prepared by the Finnish experts, should be prepared for submission to the NPD Steering Committee. It was also proposed to organize a seminar to discuss the strategy back to back with the Second Steering Committee meeting in Azerbaijan, which is tentatively scheduled to be held in May 2012.
Azerbaijan had expressed its interest in participating in the EUWI in 2010, and the first mission by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) to Baku took place in April 2010. The agencies involved in the NPD process in Azerbaijan are ministries of ecology and natural resources, emergency, health and foreign affairs, the AzerSu JSC (the authority responsible for water infrastructure) and others.
The First Steering Committee was organized in October 2010 when it was decided that the focus of the NPD on integrated water resources management (IWRM) would be the development of a Government strategy for the management of water resources (Water Strategy for Azerbaijan) and transboundary water cooperation with neighbouring Georgia.
The NPD on IWRM in Azerbaijan is funded by the European Commission and the Organization for Cooperation and Security in Europe. The Government of Finland contributes with expert support to preparation of the strategy for management of water resources.
Documents of the meeting are available at http://www.unece.org/index.php?id=27179.
More information on the EU Water Initiative National Policy Dialogue on IWRM is available at the website www.unece.org/env/water/npd.html
Ms. Gulnara Roll, EUWI Coordinator
United Nations Economic Commission for Europe
Phone : +41 (0) 22 917 22 57
Fax : +41 (0) 22 917 06 21
Note to Editors:
The UNECE-supported NPDs on IWRM programme assists Governments of the countries of Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia in promoting implementation of IWRM in line with the principles of the UNECE Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes, its Protocol on Water and Health, the EU Water Framework Directive and other UNECE and EU instruments.
NPDs on IWRM are the main operational instrument of the EUWI, an international partnership that aims at contributing to the achievement of the water-related Millennium Development Goals. UNECE is the strategic partner to support the policy dialogue process on IWRM. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development is the strategic partner for water supply and sanitation.