UNUnited Nations Economic Commission for Europe

Press Release


First Steering Committee meeting of the EU Water Initiative National Policy Dialogue on integrated water resources management held in Turkmenistan

Geneva, 7 April 2011 --

A first meeting of the Steering Committee of the NPD/IWRM (National Policy Dialogue on Integrated Water Resource Management), took place in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, on 2-3 April. It was co-organized by the Turkmen Ministries of Water Economy and of Nature Protection and the UNECE. Representatives of 22 ministries and agencies, as well as donors and international organizations, participated in the meeting. The meeting was one of many events in the framework of the annual national festival “A Drop of Water – A Piece of Gold”, recognizing of the high value of water resources.

Water is a key issue for the social and economic sectors of Turkmenistan. The country is now ready to embark on a road to improve its water management, also inspired by IWRM principles. This contributes to a more rational use of natural resources, especially for irrigation purposes. UNECE supports the Government of Turkmenistan to apply international standards and practices to water management. The NPD/IWRM is an instrument of the EU Water Initiative, which was launched to involve all relevant stakeholders into a discussion, aimed at developing the most appropriate policies for the water sector.

During the Steering Committee, it was proposed to establish an expert group to analyze how national legislation fits in with the requirements of the Convention on Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes. The so-called “Water Convention” was adopted by UNECE member states in 1992 and it provides a framework for transboundary water cooperation. The expert group would assist Turkmenistan to adopt the standards of the convention in national legislation, including the concept of IWRM as well as transboundary aspects. The meeting further discussed capacity building and other activities that would support the accession to and implementation of the Water Convention.

The organization of the meeting was supported by funds from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ).

For more information, please visit: www.unece.org/env/water/npd.

Note to editors
The National Policy Dialogue on water is the main operational instrument under the EU Water Initiative (EUWI), an international partnership that aims at contributing to the achievement of the water-related Millennium Development Goals. It is also a part of the UNECE Water Convention Workplan for 2010–2012. UNECE is the EUWI strategic partner responsible for coordination of National Policy Dialogues on IWMR in countries of Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia. Implementation of the EUWI National Policy Dialogues on IWRM is supported in 2010–2012 by the European Commission, the UNECE and the Governments of Denmark, Finland, Germany, Norway and Switzerland.

Ref: ECE/ENV/11/P14