• English

Russian and Kazakh experts discuss transboundary water cooperation

On June 23-24, 2016 Russian and Kazakh experts met in Astana to discuss the first results of assessments of transboundary rivers Ural and Kigac.  Final results will be presented at the annual meeting of Russian-Kazakh Intergovernmental Commission on Joint Use and Protection of Transboundary Water Courses in autumn of 2016. If deemed necessary by both countries, it may lead to new arrangements on how to manage and share water resources in two basins.

Joint Kazakh-Russian technical examinations at Ural and Kigac rivers were initiated in January 2016. This work aims to assess the state of the basins of Ural and Kigac rivers and to provide input for further development of transboundary cooperation. In the framework of the assessment experts analyze the current state of the water quantity of transboundary waters, taking into account the impact of economic activity on the water flow; review methods for calculating ecological river flow applied in Kazakhstan, Russia and other countries; and explore hydrological, economic, social and legal issues of Ural and Kigac river basins management.

“It has been long since so professional fieldworks and examination of latest data on hydrology and geomorphology in Ural and Volga (Kigac) basins have been jointly conducted by Kazakh and Russian experts. Preliminary results are promising and UNECE is willing to continue support transboundary cooperation between Kazakhstan and Russia in the framework of the UNECE Water Convention to which both countries are Parties” – said Bo Libert, UNECE Regional Environmental Advisor.

Assessments of Ural and Kigac rivers are conducted in the framework of National Policy Dialogue and supported by the Joint EU/UNDP/UNECE project “Supporting Kazakhstan’s Transition to a Green Economy Model”.

“Although transboundary cooperation is just one part of the project, - said Gulzhamal Issayeva, EU/UNDP/UNECE Project Manager, – effective transboundary water cooperation is one of the important aspects of smooth transitioning to a green economy and sustainable development “.

Joint EU/UNDP/UNECE project “Supporting Kazakhstan’s transition to a Green Economy Model” is funded by EU – 7 100 000 Euros, implementing partners are UNDP and UNECE. National partner –Water Resources Committee of the Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Kazakhstan.