ASHGABAT – The closing conference for the EU-funded “Central Asia Nexus Dialogue Project” was held today to present the results of the project. Aimed at increasing the understanding of the Water-Energy-Food (WEF) Security Nexus approach the project fosters multi-sectoral thinking and cooperation among Central Asian countries, leading to the development of an Investment Portfolio of WEF Nexus project ideas.
Eighty representatives from regional intergovernmental and basin organizations, relevant national government bodies, international financial institutions, the donor community, academia and experts from Central Asian and European countries came together to discuss how to scale up the WEF Nexus approach in the Central Asian region. Thematic discussions were paired with an exhibition of video and information materials, publications and an opportunity to play the “WEF Nexus Game”.
The Investment Portfolio comprising eight project ideas of regional significance that addresses a wide range of transboundary natural resources management challenges, including on water allocation, dam safety, technical upgrading, eco-tourism, combating desertification and other environmental issues of the Aral Sea was confirmed as relevant by all beneficiary countries.
Gyuzgeldy Baydjanov, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the International Fund for saving the Aral Sea (EC IFAS) said: “We thank the Nexus project team for expert and technical support provided to develop the Aral Sea Basin Programme. We are pleased that the fourth edition of this important regional Programme incorporates intersectoral investment projects that meet the WEF Nexus criteria”.
Small-scale projects in Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan implemented during the project have already helped to pilot the practical application of WEF Nexus approach, namely in multipurpose dam management, providing sustainable access to water in desert areas and promoting investment in more energy efficient water pumps.
Lubomir Frebort, Chargé d'Affaires of the EU Delegation to Turkmenistan, said: "As water and energy resources in Central Asia are highly imbalanced, the water, energy and food security is at the heart of the region's socio-economic development. Our Nexus Project is aimed at rendering support to the countries of Central Asia through cross-border and multi-sectoral planning with an ultimate goal of facilitating sustainable and climate-resilient investments for increased security in Central Asia."
The conference offered a platform to discuss projects proposed by national agencies for piloting WEF Nexus-based planning of activities and investments in the future, namely in two transboundary water facilities (the Farkhad water reservoir and the Tuamuyn hydroelectric complex) and in villages located at the dried-up plains of the Large Aral Sea.
The EU-funded “Central Asia Nexus Dialogue Project”, Phase I (2016-2019), is implemented by the Regional Environmental Centre for Central Asia (CAREC) in partnership with the International Union for Conservation of Nature and with the support of the Executive Committee of the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea. Total budget: EUR 1,522,000; EU contribution: EUR 1,300,000. The second phase of the Global Programme on Regional Nexus Dialogues that will also benefit Central Asia is now under development.
Lyudmila Kiktenko, Project Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org
Kristin Meyer, Nexus Central Asia IUCN Coordinator, email@example.com
Elnara Bainazarova, Press & Information Officer, EU Delegation to Kazakhstan, Elnara.BAINAZAROVA@eeas.europa.eu
“Central Asia Nexus Dialogue project: Fostering Water, Energy and Food Security Nexus Dialogue and Multi-Sector Investment” or Nexus project is implemented by CAREC in cooperation with the International Union for Conservation of Nature with the financial support of the European Union. The overall objective of the project is to create a multi-sectoral enabling environment to facilitate sustainable and climate-resilient investments for increased water, energy, food security and ecosystems in Central Asia. The project is implemented in five countries of Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan) during the period 2016-2019