Consultative meeting of the Executive Committee of International Fund for saving the Aral Sea (EC IFAS) with international organizations and potential donors on the development of Third Aral Sea Basin Programme (ASBP-3) took place on 17 November 2009 года in Almaty. The meeting was organized by EC IFAS with support of UNECE in the framework of the Project “Regional Dialogue and Cooperation on Water Resources Management in Central Asia”. The objective of the meeting was to start active dialogue with representatives of donor and international organizations and to facilitate their participation in ASBP-3 development and, at a later stage, in implementation of the Programme.
The meeting brought together national representatives of Central Asian countries to EC IFAS, representatives of international organizations (European Commission, UNECE, UNDP, United Nations Regional Center for Preventive Diplomacy in Central Asia) and donors (GTZ, USAID, Swiss Development Cooperation, World Bank and Eurasian Development Bank).
Donors and representatives of international organizations expressed their readiness to cooperate with EC IFAS in the development of ASBP-3. They stressed that the priority directions of ASBP-3 developed by EC IFAS may be clarified and finalized during the actual drafting of the Programme. Also, the need for clear linkages between the four priority directions of ASBP-3 was emphasized. It was proposed to supplement the four priority directions of ASBP-3 with a “shared vision” or “common goal” of the Programme. Representatives of international organizations and donors pointed out at the link between ASBP-3 development and the work on the strengthening of institutional and legal frameworks for regional cooperation.
National representatives of Central Asian countries to EC IFAS stressed their vision of ASBP-3 as a “common” programme with donors. National representatives confirmed that the development of ASBP-3 is strongly supported at the highest political level in Central Asian countries. States of Central Asia are committed to allocate national funding for ASBP-3 projects. Also, participants discussed the issue of including existing and planned donor activities in ASBP-3.
Participants supported the need of establishing a donors’ coordination group under EC IFAS for the development of ASBP-3. In response to the request from EC IFAS on the need for expert support in development of ASBP-3, donors agreed to consider allocating experts to EC IFAS. In addition, representatives of international and donor organizations agreed to nominate focal points for cooperation with EC IFAS.