UNECE supports water sector reform in Tajikistan
The fourth meeting of the Steering Committee of the European Union (EU) Water Initiative’s National Policy Dialogue on Integrated Water Resource Management (NPD IWRM) in Tajikistan, for which the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) is the strategic partner, took place on 15 November 2012 in Dushanbe. The meeting represented the final step in the development of the Water Sector Reform Strategy in Tajikistan. The latest version of the Water Sector Reform Strategy will be submitted to the Government after a final review by the NPD IWRM Working Group.
Participants also discussed the situation of hydropower in Tajikistan and received updates about various initiatives in the water sector. A project on setting targets under the Protocol on Water and Health to the UNECE Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes was discussed. Following the approval of the Strategy it will be necessary to revise the national water legislation, and the terms of reference of a working group on water legislation were considered. The launching of new initiatives on financial issues was also presented and discussed with the involvement of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
The meeting was chaired by the Minister of Land Reclamation and Water Resources of Tajikistan, Rahmat Bobokalonov. Also making opening speeches were the Ambassador and Head of the EU Delegation to Tajikistan, Eduard Auer, and Bo Libert, the UNECE Regional Adviser on Environment. More than 70 representatives of national authorities, international organizations and other development partners and stakeholders took part in the meeting. Representatives of the NPDs of Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan were also present to share their experience.
The NPD IWRM Steering Committee meetings are organized by the Tajik Ministry of Land Reclamation and Water Resources in cooperation with UNECE. Many national and international stakeholders, including representatives of civil society, are regularly invited to take part. The activities are implemented with support from the EU.
Bo Libert, UNECE Regional Adviser
Note for Editors:
National Policy Dialogues on Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) and on Water Supply and Sanitation (WSS) are the main operational instrument of the European Union Water Initiative (EUWI) component for Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia. The EUWI was launched at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg (2002). UNECE is the strategic partner to support the policy dialogue process on IWRM, whereas the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is the strategic partner for WSS and financial aspects of IWRM. NPDs are under way in the following countries of the region: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Republic of Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Ukraine.
The UNECE/World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe Protocol on Water and Health to the Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes is the first international agreement adopted specifically to ensure, by linking water management and health issues, the adequate supply of safe drinking water and adequate sanitation. Twenty-five states are Parties to the Protocol, which entered into force on 4 August 2005.