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UNECE helps Kazakhstan raise capacity on international water law

Kazakhstan is heavily dependent on water in rivers shared with other countries, in most cases as the downstream neighbour in basins shared with China, the Russian Federation and other Central Asian States. Given that climate change is expected to lead to decreased access to water for Kazakhstan, efficient transboundary water cooperation is very important for the country.

On 7 and 8 December 2015 UNECE organized a training course on international water law in Astana to raise capacity on international water law and discuss the transboundary water management policy in Kazakhstan. It was also the starting point for a UNECE review of Kazakh transboundary water cooperation policy. Representatives of the Ministries of Energy, Agriculture, Foreign Affairs and National Economy participated, as did the heads of the basin inspectorates under the Committee on Water Resources of the Ministry of Agriculture. International experts contributing to the training included Sergei Vinogradov, Professor at the University of Dundee, Dejan Komatina, Secretary of the International Sava River Basin Commission and Aleksander Nikolayenko of the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ).

The course was organized in the framework of the EU-funded project focusing on the water sector: “Supporting Kazakhstan’s Transition to a Green Economy Model”. The project is implemented by UNDP in partnership with UNECE. The main activities are linked to the implementation of the UNECE Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes and the UNECE Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context.