Central Asia Nexus Dialogue project: Fostering Water, Energy and Food Security Nexus Dialogue and Multi-Sector Investment

Specific objective: 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.

Partners: national ministries and agencies of Central Asia (CA) countries involved in water resource management, agriculture, energy, economy and investment issues, international funds and financial institutes, and expert society.

Project period: December 2016 – December 2019

Project budget: EUR 1 300 000

Project's Donor:

European Union (EU)

Project is financed by the European Commission and implemented by the Regional Environmental Centre for Central Asia (CAREC), in cooperation with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), in five countries of Central Asia: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

The project at a glance

Central Asia Nexus Dialogue project: Fostering Water, Energy and Food Security Nexus Dialogue and Multi-Sector Investment is an EU-funded project that is part of a global program with activities also in Latin America, Africa and the Middle East.

In Central Asia, the project is implemented by the Regional environmental centre for Central Asia (CAREC) in partnership with the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) from December 2016 to December 2019, with a budget of €1,3 million.

The ultimate goal of the project is to prepare the ground for investments within the EU Nexus Dialogues Programme (Phase II). To achieve this goal, the project supports development of regional investment programme “Aral Sea Basin Program” (ASBP) by fostering multi-sectoral dialogue and cooperation nationally and regionally. The partners of the project are the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea (IFAS) and state bodies dealing with water and energy resources management, agriculture, economic development and environmental issues in five CA countries.

Need for a multi-sectoral approach

Population growth, regional socio-economic development, climate change as well as changing consumption patterns contribute to increased demands for water, energy and food. To achieve security in all three WEF sectors, it is important to understand their interdependence and the inherent trade-offs necessary to meet the needs of the diverse users. Multi-sectoral cooperation and planning provides a framework for balancing the various interests of sectors in a sustainable manner.

In Central Asia, WEF security is at the heart of socio-economic and human development. The need for an integrated use of water and energy resources is recognized at the highest political level. And as the water and energy resources of the region are highly imbalanced, WEF security can only be achieved through regional cooperation and multi-sectoral planning approach.

IFAS as a key beneficiary

IFAS is the only intergovernmental structure dealing with water and environment at a regional level by advancing transboundary cooperation in Central Asia.  It was established in the early nineties by the Heads of States of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan with the initial aim of funding joint projects and programs to save the Aral Sea and to improve the ecological situation in the surrounding area. Over the years, a socio-economic development focus at the scale of the entire basin has emerged in addition to environmental goals.

On January 30, 2018, the IFAS Executive Committee decided to launch the development of the fourth edition of the Aral Sea Basin Program (ASPB-4). This decision, combined with recent Presidents-level initiatives to enhance cooperation among Central Asian States, is a unique window of opportunity for integrating the WEF security nexus into ASBP planning process.


Shorthand: Water, Energy and Food Security


Project news:

- Vienna ( Austria) 13 -18 May 2019 EU supports Central Asia in learning from multisectoral collaboration along the Danube and Sava River Basins

- Vienna ( Austria) 13 -18 May 2019  EU supports the development of a Nexus Roadmap for Central Asia

- Tashkent, 2 April Enhancing academic capacity-building on Water-Energy-Food security Nexus in Central Asia

An open dialogue on challenges and benefits that the Water-Energy-Food Security Nexus brings to Central Asia took place on 2 April 2019 at the Pre-Conference Academic Event of the Central Asia Climate Change Conference. During the discussion, participants confirmed that the strong academic and professional capacity is vital for achieving multisectoral approaches to adapt to the anticipated consequences of climate change and to ensure water, energy and food security in Central Asia.

- Urgench, 28-29  Uzbekistan November - Enhancing water, energy and food security in Central Asia

- Astana, 12 October 2018 - Third meeting of the Nexus Regional Steering Committee

- Astana, 10 October 2018 - Side-event Water-Energy-Food-Ecosystems Nexus: Benefits for resource security across borders

- Astana, 08 October 2018- Workshop on multisectoral investment

- Almaty, 18 September 2018 - The 9th Central Asian Leadership Programme on Environment and Sustainable Development (CALP). Session on Interrelation of water, energy, food security and conservation of biodiversity and the environment: NEXUS approach

- Dushanbe - June 19-22, 2018 - High Level International Conference on the international decade for action “Water for Sustainable Development” 2018-2028, conference

- Tashkent, June 07-08,  2018 - 8th meeting of the EU-CA Working Group on Environment and Climate Change

- Tashkent, 07 June 2018 – The Second Meeting of the Nexus Regional Steering Committee

- ASHGABAT – May 16, 2018. The first meeting of the Regional Working Group on the development of a new Action Program to assist the countries of the Aral Sea Basin

- December 01, 2017. Session of The national commission on irrigation and drainage of Tajikistan resulted with a decision to use this working platform as intersectoral working group on water-energy-food nexus in Tajikistan, its goals and objectives until the end of 2019 are agreed.

- November 27, 2017. The critical importance of ecosystems for water, food and energy security for the region was highlited at the final conference of the “Phase II: Support towards local initiatives on environmental governance and water resources management in CA” project. (supported by the Government of Norway)

- November 23-24, 2017. Nexus project and results of the inception phase was presented at the EU-Central Asia Regional Workshop on Infrastructure Investments (WECOOP2)

- November 15, 2017. Central Asia Nexus Dialogue project: Fostering Water, Energy and Food Security Nexus Dialogue and Multi-Sector Investment (NEXUS) launched in Turkmenistan.

- November 13, 2017. Memorandum of Understanding with the Executive Committee of the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea (EC IFAS) is signed. “Central Asia Nexus Dialogue project: Fostering Water, Energy and Food Security Nexus Dialogue and Multi-Sector Investment” (NEXUS)” funded by EU is a part of the joint action plan of Turkmenistan.

- October 18, 2017. The Fifth Task Force meeting on the Water-Food-Energy-Ecosystem Nexus was organized with the support of The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) secretariat. Participants of the meeting were presented by representatives of the Ministries of water, energy resources and environment from different countries. Information about “Central Asia Nexus Dialogue project: Fostering Water, Energy and Food Security Nexus Dialogue and Multi-Sector Investment” (NEXUS)” project funded by EU were presented. Also, short update about future project plans were reflected.

- October-november 2017. The map of the best practices of use of water, land and energy resources, and environment protection were presented in all five Central Asia countries. It is planned, this map will also include best practices on Nexus in Central Asia.

- Сonsultative meetings of Nexus project was conducted in all five Central Asia countries:

June 15, 2017 – Astana, Kazakhstan

June 23, 2017 – Tashkent, Kazakhstan

July 05, 2017 – Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic

August 14, 2017   - Dushanbe, Tajikistan

November 15, 2017 – Ashgabat, Turkmenistan

- August – September 2017. Agreement with UNECE on arranging Nexus dialogues on the National Policy Water Dialogues platform which supports reforms in water sector in Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia through assistance to governments in: development and implementation of water strategies and legislation based on IWRM principles, strengthening intersectoral cooperation, development of national policies for the management of transboundary waters in accordance with the Water Convention and other international environmental instruments.

- June 07, 2017. Side-event “Lessons learned from assessing the Water-Food-Energy-Ecosystems nexus: approaches, findings and possible responses and contribution” was held in the frame of the Central Asian International Environmental Forum (CAIEF).

- May 18-19, 2017.
First regional discussion of Nexus project in Central Asia, nexus approach as itself and priority directions for the investments was held in the context of preparations for the Sixth Meeting of EU-Central Asia Working Group on Environment and Climate Change.

First project interim report is available here

Final documents  of the second meeting of the Regional Steering Committee are available here

Stakeholder Analysis Report is available here

Further information and contact

For information on the Global Nexus Dialogues Programme visit the Nexus Resources Platform.

For more information about the Nexus Project in Central Asia contact: Ludmila Kiktenko, CAREC manager (lkiktenko@carececo.org), Meyer Kristin, IUCN project coordinator (Kristin.Meyer@iucn.org)

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Our partners:

International Union for Conservation of Nature ( IUCN)


International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea (IFAS)


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