On October 2 CAREC held the opening of Information and Training Class for water specialist at the National Institute of Deserts, Flora and Fauna of the State Committee of Turkmenistan for Environmental Protection and Land Resources. The class was created within the Smart Waters, which is jointly implemented by the Regional Environmental Centre for Central Asia and International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea Executive Committee and funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
The opening ceremony was attended by representatives of related government agencies of Turkmenistan, project specialists and development partners. Also, among the guests, there were the US Ambassador to Turkmenistan Mr Allan Mustard, the head of USAID in Turkmenistan Ms Mischere Kawas, and the manager of Smart Waters project Ms Yekaterina Strikeleva.
In his welcoming speech, Mr Allan Mustard has noted the strategic purpose of the class: “In this class water sector specialists will receive a regular access to best international practices, research, information and knowledge. And as trained and capable water resource managers, they will use these skills and resources in order to help Turkmenistan to manage wisely the water resources.”
The State Committee for Environmental Protection and Land Resources is a key partner of the Smart Waters project in Turkmenistan. The Committee includes specialists who systematically monitor the state of water resources in the country. However, currently, the agency specialists don't have constant access to a sufficient amount of information resources in order to be able to increase their potential in the field of modern developments in the sector of environmental protection and water resources. There is also a lack of information on existing practices of Integrated Water Resources Management and Basin Planning.
The information and training class is designed to overcome this challenge. First of all, it will provide the national partner specialists with regular access to the Internet. Secondly, the class will hold webinars by the specialists from countries of the region. And the last, but not least, a database with all necessary information for specialists on sustainable water management will be created within the framework of this class.
As a result of the work of the information and training class, the existing professional contacts between specialists, researchers and scientists of the water sector of Turkmenistan and their colleagues in neighbouring countries of the region are expected to strengthen. This will enable developing mutual understanding among water sector experts in the region. The first events with the use of information-training class resources are planned for November of this year.
Smart Waters project is implemented by CAREC with the financial support of the United States Agency for International Development USAID during the period 2015-2020. Overall objective of the project is to enhance regional cooperation on shared water resources. Specifically, Smart Waters addresses the knowledge dis-lock in the region in water sector, builds working relations among water managers and specialists, and demonstrates the potential of the basin management approach and cooperation with the academia.