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Project "Regional dialogue and cooperation on water resources management in Central Asia" Phase II

Phase II (2013-2014) of the project “Regional Dialogue and Cooperation on Water Resources Management in Central Asia”

Background

The long-term economic, political and social stability of Central Asia directly depends on the sustainable management of the region’s shared water resources. The compound water, food and energy crisis of 2008 provided a serious warning as to the urgency of efforts to improve regional water resources management. The growing irregularity of water supply combined with increasing demand for water due to rapid population growth and economic development as well as deterioration of water quality throughout the region constitute a challenge that can only be met through rapid improvement of water governance on the national level and through regional cooperation. To improve the cooperation on the use and protection of water resources, regional institutions as well as the legal framework for cooperation on water need to be strengthened.

The goal of the project “Regional Dialogue and Cooperation on Water Resources Management in Central Asia” is to empower the countries of Central Asia to develop and implement mutually acceptable, long-term solutions to improve cooperation on transboundary water resources. The project is a component of the Programme “Transboundary Water Management in Central Asia” carried out by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ – German International Cooperation) on behalf of the German Federal Foreign Office.

Objectives

Phase II of the project “Regional Dialogue and Cooperation on Water Resources Management in Central Asia” aims to achieve the following objectives:

  • The capacity of the International Fund for saving the Aral Sea (IFAS), including its organizations and institutions, is improved and the process of modernization of their legal basis is continued.
  • The capacity of Central Asian governments to apply international water law is improved and the relevant instruments and best practices are increasingly used in interstate relations.
  • Improved application of the principles of integrated water resources management (IWRM) at the river basin and regional levels in Central Asia.    


In its Phase II the project continues to follow the mandate received from the 2009 Summit of Heads of State of IFAS member countries, when the Presidents of Central Asian countries expressed their readiness to strengthen the institutional and legal frameworks of IFAS so as to improve its efficiency and achieve greater interaction with financial institutions and donors. In addition, Phase II relies on a more detailed mandate to improve the institutional and legal mechanisms for cooperation found in the Third Aral Sea Basin Program approved by the Governments of five IFAS countries. Implementation of Phase II takes full advantage of the experience gained during the implementation of Phase I and other UNECE projects in Central Asia, including the EU Water Initiative National Policy Dialogues on IWRM.

Activities

The activities are grouped into two major directions of work: sub-component 1 – regional institutions on water cooperation, and sub-component 2 – international water law and IWRM.

The activities under Sub-component 1 “Regional Institutions on Water Cooperation” focus on:


The activities under Sub-component 2 “International Water Law and IWRM” focus on:

  • Conducting national capacity building activities to improve the understanding and promote proper interpretation on international water law in Central Asian region;
  • Conducting capacity building activities on the application of environmental impact assessment and strategic environmental assessment to water issues for interested countries;
  • Support to implementation of the Assistance Programme under the Convention on Transboundary Effects of Industrial Accidents, with a focus on transboundary waters.

Meetings

Outcomes of Rio+20: challenges and opportunities for the Interstate Commission on Sustainable Development  (30 May 2013), Almaty, Kazakhstan

National seminar on international water law (12-13 September 2013), Issyk-Kul, Kyrgyz Republic

National workshop on the Industrial Accidents Convention and transboundary water management (28-29 October 2013), Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic

Presentation of the Study of the Expert Group on the Strengthening of Interstate Commission on Sustainable Development of the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea (20 November 2013), Almaty, Kazakhstan

Informal consultations on UNECE support to transboundary water cooperation and the work of joint bodies for transboundary water cooperation in Central Asia (8 April 2014), Geneva, Switzerland

Workshop "Further development of regional cooperation among the countries of Central Asia in the management of information on the environment and water resources" (9-10 June 2014), Almaty, Kazakhstan

Press releases

UNECE cooperates with Interstate Commission on Sustainable Development to strengthen implementation of Rio+20 outcomes in Central Asia, 31 May 2013

UNECE helps Kyrgyzstan to improve understanding of intenational water law, 12 September 2013

UNECE helps develop recommendations on strengthening the Interstate Commission on Sustainable Development of Central Asia, 21 November 2013

UNECE develops cooperation on information management with Ministers of Environment in Central Asia, 7 April 2014

UNECE to help develop the management of information on the environment and water in Central Asia, 12 June 2014

Contacts

Mr. Bo LIBERT
Regional Adviser on Environment
Telephone: 0041-22-917 23 96
Telefax: 0041-22-917 06 21
E-mail: bo.libert(at)unece.org

Mr. Marton KRASZNAI
Regional Adviser on Economic Cooperation and Integration
Telephone: 0041 22 917 2760
Telefax: 0041 22 917 0178
E-mail: marton.krasznai(at)unece.org

Ms. Iulia TROMBITCAIA
Environmental Affairs Officer
Telephone: 0041-22-917 3332
Telefax: 0041-22-917 0621
E-mail: iulia.trombitcaia(at)unece.org


© United Nations Economic Commissions for Europe – 2013