On July 1-3, CAREC management had a series of meetings with national partners in Uzbekistan. Acquaintance with the newly selected CAREC Executive Director, discussion of the results of cooperation and further plans were at the agenda of meetings with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Uzbekistan (MFA), the Ministry of Water Resources (MWR), the State Committee on Ecology and Environmental Protection (The State Committee), the Centre of Hydrometeorological Service (Uzhydromet), the Delegation of the European Union to Uzbekistan and Tashkent Institute of Irrigation and Agricultural Mechanization Engineers (TIIAME).
At the MFA of Uzbekistan, the meeting participants discussed the contribution of CAREC to strengthening regional cooperation, including international events held in Uzbekistan, such as the Central Asian International Environmental Forum II (CAIEF). Also, a possible participation and contribution of CAREC to the upcoming major events on water and environmental issues were considered. CAREC informed the representatives of the Ministry on the preparation status for the meeting of representatives of Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Parliaments, which is aimed to discuss the measures taken to adapt and mitigate the effects of climate change at the national, regional and global levels, scheduled on August 22 in Almaty, Kazakhstan. The delegation of experts of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), headed by the Vice-Chairman Dr. Youba Sokona will arrive at the meeting to present findings of the Special Report on the Impacts of the Global Temperature Rise by 1.5 degrees Celsius (2018).
During the next meeting at the MWR, Minister Shavkat Khamraev commented on the implementation of water projects in Uzbekistan. It should be noted that the Ministry of Water Resources of Uzbekistan is the main national partner of such CAREC projects as Smart Waters (USAID) and UzWaterAware (EU), which have many activities on water issues in the country.
The meeting at the State Committee was also very productive. The Chairman Mr. Bakhrom Kuchkarov noted that it is necessary to further strengthen partnership in the implementation of joint initiatives to accomplish the signed Framework Agreement and the Roadmap. In addition to the upcoming events, an issue of cooperation within the framework of the CAREC / EC IFAS / World Bank project “CAMP4ASB” was also discussed; in particular, the issue of purchasing two mobile laboratories for the State Committee within the “hard component” of the project “1.2 Target Modernization of Climate Monitoring Systems”.
The discussion of the implementation of CAMP4ASB continued in Uzhydromet, the project national focal point. During the meeting, the focal point suggested to continue organizing project events aimed at capacity building of Uzhydromet specialists, arranging study-tours to the Finnish Meteorological Institute. Besides that, the purchase of 50 automatic stations for Uzhydromet within the “hard component” of the CAMP4ASB project was discussed in detail. In addition, participants of the meeting considered the organization and participation of Uzhydromet in consistent events as the Central Asian Climate Change Conference (CACCC 2020) that will be organized next year in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, and a series of meetings in August in Almaty devoted to the first visit of high-level IPCC delegation to Central Asia. Among the events to be organized are a training for the journalists; a meeting with academia; a meeting of representatives of Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Parliaments and a briefing with national coordinators of IPCC of the region.
Results of the long-term cooperation of two organizations within implemented and ongoing projects were presented during the meeting with the Ambassador Eduards Stiprais, the Head of EU Delegation to Uzbekistan. CAREC Executive Director offered to include “raising awareness” paragraph into the agenda of joint EU programmes for the following 5 years. “This will help us keep the experience and ensure the sustainability of gained knowledge and skills, as well as to share the experience of UzWaterAware project on the regional level,” noted Mr. Zafar Makhmudov.
The meeting with TIIAME management was very informative, and participants discussed such issues as cooperation within Smart Waters project; building the laboratory on integrated water resources management (IWRM); organization of another study-tour to the university for water specialists from Tajikistan; widening cooperation with Kazakh-German University within summer school, etc. Particular attention was given to further initiatives and work of joint CAREC-TIIAME Innovations and Scientific Research Cluster.