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Turkmenistan studies benefits of joining UNECE environmental agreements on water and health and industrial accidents

Published: 13 October 2014

On Friday, 10 October 2014 the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) concluded four days of trainings in Ashgabat for Turkmen government representatives to familiarize them with two UNECE environmental treaties: the Convention on the Transboundary Effects of Industrial Accidents (Industrial Accidents Convention) and the Protocol on Water and Health to the Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes (Water Convention).

Separate seminars on each instrument were organized as part of the National Policy Dialogue on water, a platform supported by UNECE for assisting Turkmenistan in developing its water resource management policies.

On 7 and 8 October 2014, representatives of the joint secretariat to the UNECE/World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe Protocol on Water and Health presented key features of the Protocol. Experts from Norway and the Republic of Moldova gave an overview of how the Protocol worked in practice, using examples of the Protocol’s application and implementation in other countries of Eastern Europe and Central Asia. On 9 and 10 October 2014, the provisions of the Industrial Accidents Convention and its application were presented to national stakeholders, using as illustrations examples of the Convention’s application in the United Kingdom and Slovenia. Representatives of Turkmenistan presented the existing institutional and legal frameworks in their respective field of competence. Both seminars were chaired by Mr. Niyazmuhamet Gyrlov, the Deputy Minister of Water Economy.

Participants representing key ministries and agencies found both seminars interesting and useful and expressed interest in further exploring the possibility of joining the two UNECE  treaties. It was concluded, however, that further exchange of information and specialized trainings should be conducted on the two instruments before next steps could be taken towards possible accession.

Turkmenistan has existing national regulations in the field of water and health as well as industrial safety but the implementation of requirements of both UNECE instruments could lead to enhanced cooperation between different state agencies and with neighbouring countries.

Turkmenistan is currently Party to two UNECE MEAs — the Water Convention and the Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters (Aarhus Convention).

The meeting was supported by the Government of Norway and was organized in cooperation with the Ministry of Water Economy of Turkmenistan and the United Nations Development Programme in Turkmenistan.

Note to editors

National Policy Dialogues (NPDs) on Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) and Water Supply and Sanitation are the main operational instrument of the European Union Water Initiative Component for Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia. UNECE is the strategic partner for support to the policy dialogue processes on IWRM.
NPDs are under way in the following countries of the region: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Republic of Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Ukraine.

For more information, please visit: www.unece.org/env/water/npd


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