Stakeholder’s Partnerships in Collaborative Policymaking: Fostering Transboundary Cooperation on Small Watersheds in Central Asia

April 2012 – October 2015
Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan
Funding sources
US Agency on International Development (USAID)
$1,8 mln
Thematic area
Transboundary water cooperation
Ministries and Agencies on water resources, emergency situations, agriculture, environmental protection, etc.

Solving water-related problems in Central Asia needs to find new transboundary cooperation approaches. The fully integrated management of water resources, which takes into account the interests of different sectors and ecosystems and applies the water basin principle, is gaining ground but is generally not yet the basis for national and transboundary water policies. In addition, the ongoing national and international development efforts are mostly focused on large transboundary basins and high-level political dialogues among Central Asia states. This project focused on three small transboundary watersheds in Central Asia to apply the principles of IWRM and to act as an opportunity to establish respective technical- and staff resources to serve as models for large transboundary basins and developing transboundary cooperation based on common trust and understanding.


Overall objective: Introduction and dissemination of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) practices in these small transboundary watersheds in Central Asia. 

Specific objectives:

  • Improved transboundary cooperation based on the introduction of IWRM principles in three selected small transboundary rivers, thus providing a model for cooperation, governance and adaptation to climate change to demonstrate the benefits of shared watershed management for larger watersheds

  • Strengthened community involvement into the development and management of the three selected watersheds

  • Improved institutional capacities and strengthened existing water management bodies thus contributing to preparation of new generation of respective water managers and technicians to promote basin principles and related water sector reforms.


  • Capacity development. The components on capacity development foresees development of transboundary information strategy and its implementation; conducting of trainings on IWRM principles and best water management practices; study and demonstration tours to pilot territories 

  • Piloting good practices. This components includes following activities: conducting baseline surveys and needs assessment studies (a review of existing data; socio-economic survey and an assessment of human- and technical capacity at local and national water quality monitoring in the selected transboundary watersheds); creating small transboundary basin councils in three small watersheds that included representatives of local authorities, experts, NGOs, private water users, development of joint transboundary action plans; implementation of three local pilot projects 

  • Regional component. In this component, the Regional Working Group (RWG) will be established based on the existing RWG that was established within the framework of the UNECE-CAREC project “Water quality in Central Asia”. The RWG includes representatives of ministries of environmental protection, agriculture, water resources, hydrometeorology, and emergency of the Central Asian countries. As part of the regional working group, it was envisaged to develop common approaches for implementation of best practices for efficient land and water; to discuss progress in the pilot areas; involved in selection and implementation of pilot projects.

  • Local authorities on transboundary rivers

  • Local communities

  • Water organizations

I.              Integrated water resources management approach on selected watersheds 

  • Regional Working Group (RWG) and seven regional working group meetings

  • Baseline environmental monitoring report, a review of the existing data on water quantity and water quality, a socio-economic survey and an assessment of human- and technical capacity at local and national levels for water quality monitoring in the selected transboundary water courses prepared

  • Assessments results are agreed with the regional working group

  • A guideline for IWRM on small transboundary basins in CA

  • Approval from national governments 

II.                Good practices piloted 

  • 3 small transboundary basin councils at the Isfara, Ugam and Aspara rivers and 15 local or transboundary working meetings

  • 6 basin plans developed and confirmed by local governments

  • 6-9 pilot activities based on selection criteria realized 

III.             Capacities and awareness about IWRM and best practices improved 

  • Development and realization of Information strategy

  • 9 transboundary trainings on IWRM

  • 18 local trainings on best practices (PES, water saving technologies, water productivity, etc.)

  • Study tour for PWG on shared/transboundary rivers in the USA that effectively apply IWRM

  • 6 study tours for media and local representatives on pilot activities

  • A final regional conference

Project manager – Ekaterina Strikeleva


Tel.: +7 727 265 43 33 (ext. 275)