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UNECE and partners train water management trainers in Kazakhstan

Kazakh university professors took part in a course on political and technical aspects of integrated water resources management (IWRM) at the German-Kazakh University in Almaty from 15-26 August. This was the first part of training for academic staff from the largest Kazakh universities within the Joint EU/UNDP/UNECE project “Supporting Kazakhstan’s Transition to a Green Economy Model”. Special text-books were developed for the training and will be used as teaching material at the universities.   

18 participants from the ten largest universities of Kazakhstan offering water management education participated in the training with international as well as national trainers representing Free University of Berlin, Taraz State University, “Kazakhstan Su Arnasy” Association, and the Institute “Kazgiprovodkhoz”. The current session was a “test-run” for the text-books where all participants were encouraged to share their comments and opinions on its content, structure, clarity and depth of the issues described.

Information from the training can be applied in teaching water-related courses. I have realized here that my lectures have been rather ‘one-sided’; however, every class can follow the IWRM-based approach. This is what I am going to apply in my classes from now on,” – said Ms. Farida Aubakirova from the South-Kazakhstan State University.

The training programme aims to develop the professional skills of those who provide education on water management. Under the module on political aspects of water management the experts discussed available political instruments for IWRM, relations between Kazakhstan and its neighboring countries on the sharing of water resources, best international experience in transboundary water management (e.g. Nile, Mekong, Danube, and Rhine rivers), and cutting-edge approaches, like the Water-Food-Energy-Ecosystems Nexus. The module on technological aspects focused on the newest technologies in water supply and sanitation, water purification, agricultural water supply and other uses of water resources, both from the international and Kazakh experience.

Participants and experts engaged in intense discussions about Kazakh national strategies on water supply and sanitation including comparisons with the German and European experience in treatment of drinking and waste water, quality of drinking water and prevention of water-borne diseases.

Dr. Barbara Janusz-Pawletta, Head of IWRM MA at the German-Kazakh University, is satisfied with the outcomes of the training: - “The participants concluded that this training was different as it covered various aspects more in-depth than other trainings and involved both Kazakh and European expertise. They keep asking about continuation of the training next year”.

The second part of this training will be held in January 2017 and will be dedicated to the economic and legal aspects of IWRM.