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UNECE supports Afghan-Tajik cooperation on water and the environment in the Amu Darya Basin

Following a fourth round of water and environment cooperation talks, Afghan and Tajik water and environment management officials meeting in Dushanbe on 24 and 25 November 2014 signed an agreement on the responsibilities and areas of work of the Afghan-Tajik Technical Group on Hydrological Monitoring, which will guide hydrology cooperation by the two countries in the Amu Darya River Basin. The agreement is a significant breakthrough that will lead to further strengthening transboundary cooperation between the countries in the area of water and environment.

The meeting was supported by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) in cooperation with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and Zoï Environment Network.

Challenges discussed during the meeting included:

  •  Adaptation to climate change
  •  Management of frequent and severe floods
  •  A joint action plan for 2015–2017 on hydrology and environment
  •  Protection of vulnerable ecosystems.

Meeting participants noted that, in the face of these and other challenges, intensified cooperation would benefit both States as well as other countries sharing the basin. Modalities for cooperation were set up to pursue further joint work on water as well as on the environment. A workplan was agreed that includes joint hydrological monitoring and exchange of information in the Pyanj River Basin, an upstream tributary of the Amu Darya that marks the border between Afghanistan and Tajikistan. A programme for environmental cooperation was approved.

The meeting was chaired by the Deputy Chair of the Tajik Committee for Environmental Protection, Oihon Sharipova. The Afghan Ministry for Foreign Affairs, as well as agricultural, water and environment authorities in Kabul and regions neighbouring Tajikistan, were represented at the meeting.

The project is part of the work programme of the UNECE Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes, as well as the United Nations Special Programme for the Economies of Central Asia.  

 For further information please contact:

Mr. Batyr Hajiyev, Deputy Head ESCAP/UNECE SPECA Office

Almaty, Kazakhstan

Office: + 7 727 338 4402, Mobile: + 7 777 597 9522