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Transboundary water cooperation discussed in Astana

The need to develop water quality cooperation with neighbouring countries was at the centre of the debates in Astana this week. A seminar discussed a draft Review of Policy and Recommendations for Kazakhstan in the Field of Transboundary Water Resources Management, prepared by UNECE experts in cooperation with Kazakh state institutions.

Opening the seminar, the Deputy Minister of Agriculture of the Republic of Kazakhstan Erlan Nysanbaev noted that "Transboundary water cooperation in Kazakhstan should take into account the on-going process of climate change and that most of the water inflow of Kazakhstan come from neighboring states. In this regard, the policy review is essential to improve the institutional arrangements and the regulatory framework of transboundary water management."

The review analyses institutional mechanisms of transboundary water cooperation in Kazakhstan, existing practices in the different basins, main policy and institutional gaps as well as recommendations on how to overcome these.

According to the UNECE Regional Adviser on Environment Bo Libert, "the Review is a very good basis for Kazakhstan for further development of their transboundary water cooperation – with regard to the regulatory framework as well as institutional setting. One important issue high-lighted during the discussions is the need to develop water quality cooperation with neighbouring countries. This is an important challenge for Kazakhstan.” 

During the discussion, participants made comments and suggestions to improve the draft document. The seminar “Policy of the Republic of Kazakhstan in the field of transboundary water management” (24-25 October) was organized by UNECE together with the Ministry of Agriculture of Kazakhstan. The Review was prepared with support of the EU/UNDP/UNECE Joint Project «Supporting Kazakhstan's Transition to a Green Economy Model».