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Improved cooperation in Central Asia is crucial to achieve the SDGs

Given the close links between the energy, water management and environmental protection sectors, improved cooperation between the countries in Central Asia is crucial to achieve the relevant Sustainable Development goals.  This was the main conclusion of the 20th session of the SPECA Working Group on Water, Energy and Environment organized on 20-21 October in Baku.

The upstream countries´ dependence on hydropower that limits water availability for irrigation downstreams in the sub-region was openly and frankly discussed against the background of Sustainable Development goals 6 (water) and 7 (energy). Several options to improve the situation such as re-connecting the Central Asian energy grid, increasing the share of renewables as well as increasing energy and water efficiency were discussed.

It was noted that the Working Group can provide a platform for supporting progress. In this work the further development of water-food-energy-ecosystems nexus assessments was seen as an opportunity. The session was organized by UNECE and UNESCAP in the framework of the 7th International Forum on Energy for Sustainable Development.