A draft study on strengthening the institutional and legal basis of regional cooperation on the environment in Central Asia was presented at a regional meeting in Almaty, Kazakhstan, on 20 November 2013. The study, which contains recommendations on enhancing sustainable development cooperation in the framework of the Interstate Commission on Sustainable Development of Central Asia (ICSD), was prepared by a task force under the leadership of the Scientific and Information Center of ICSD and facilitated by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the United Nations Environment Programme.
“I hope that the presentation of the study will start a substantive dialogue between ICSD, relevant United Nations agencies and programmes and the donor community”, said UNECE Deputy Executive Secretary Andrey Vasilyev, in opening remarks on behalf of Executive Secretary Sven Alkalaj. He further stressed that a strengthened and proactive ICSD was indispensable for the successful implementation of the outcomes of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20 Conference) at the regional level.
Participants discussed the recommendations of the study, which will be finalized in light of the outcomes of the meeting and feedback from the countries and submitted for consideration by ICSD. Recommendations included updating the Regional Environmental Action Plan for Central Asia in light of the outcomes of Rio+20 and improving its implementation, as well as strengthening the method of financing ICSD meetings and activities and opportunities to attract donor funding, including by means of regular donor coordination by the Executive Committee of the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea (EC IFAS).
The meeting took place in the framework of the UNECE “Regional Dialogue and Cooperation on Water Resources Management in Central Asia” programme, supported by the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ).
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Note for Editors
Phase II of the UNECE programme, “Regional Dialogue and Cooperation on Water Resources Management in Central Asia”, aims to improve the capacity of IFAS, including its organizations and institutions and continue the strengthening of their legal basis. The project is a component of the “Transboundary Water Management in Central Asia” programme carried out by GIZ on behalf of the German Federal Foreign Office.
IFAS was established by the five Central Asian States — Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan — to implement in a coordinated way the practical measures and programmes to overcome the impacts of the Aral crisis and to improve environmental and socioeconomic conditions in the Aral Sea Basin.
ICSD is a body of IFAS in charge of coordinating regional cooperation on environment and sustainable development in Central Asia. ICSD is mandated to develop and coordinate implementation of a regional sustainable development strategy, action plans and programmes, to prepare regional projects and to coordinate the implementation by Central Asian countries of their commitments under environmental conventions with a transboundary dimension.
GIZ is an international cooperation enterprise for sustainable development with worldwide operations, which supports the German Government in achieving its development policy objectives.
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