Historic Event at the UNFCCC COP26: Central Asia - One Region, One Voice

Publication date: 21 October 2021
Historic Event at the UNFCCC COP26: Central Asia - One Region, One Voice

For the first time in the history of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) the countries of Central Asia will voice their consolidated position on climate change as one region at the 26th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 26).

According to the organizers, COP26 will be a landmark event for the world community since it considers the issues in question determining the future of the whole humankind.  

More than 10,000 people participate in various events during the Conference of the Parties.  In this case, the pavilions are a hallmark of the participating countries designed to attract everyone's attention.

In previous iterations of the Conference of the Parties, the countries of Central Asia lost much by voicing their concerns separately. It is time for the five countries of Central Asia to unite and attract the attention of the world community in addressing the issues of climate change, and for closer cooperation,” said Zafar Makhmudov, Executive Director of the Regional Environmental Centre for Central Asia (CAREC).

For this reason, CAREC organized a joint Central Asian Pavilion at UNFCCC COP26 and nowadays Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan will be able to demonstrate to the world their achievements, results, and prospects through a single regional platform. Throughout the 20 years of the joint work the countries of Central Asia have gained enormous potential in such fields as environmental legislation, strategic planning, and implementation of innovative technologies that can be considered certainly as an advantage to the region as a whole.  The Governments of Central Asia in their Regional Statement for UNFCCC COP26 emphasize the consolidated position to respond to climate change challenges.  

For the first time in the history of such climate change conferences, the joint pavilion provides Central Asian countries with a unique opportunity to demonstrate their investment potential, their role in the global climate process, their perspectives and current needs for financing, technologies and expertise. It is also a unique opportunity to draw global attention to the high vulnerability of the region and the risks of climate migration, especially in the context of current geopolitical stability.

Contact person – Irina Bubenko, Knowledge Management Specialist, CAREC, email: ibubenko@carececo.org

Brief Background

At the previous COP25, the Central Asian national coordinators of the UNFCCC addressed the Regional Environmental Center for Central Asia (CAREC) with an urgent proposal to be the regional representative of Central Asia on this global platform, voicing their concerns as one in combatting the challenges the climate crisis faces them with.

The countries of Central Asia entrusted CAREC with a unique mandate - to assist Central Asian countries in addressing environmental problems at national and regional levels. CAREC’s systematic work strive for the consolidation of the region. It CAREC therefore serves as a resource for inter-state and inter-departmental dialogue for the countries of Central Asia to successfully introduce and apply innovative environmental policies, approaches, and methodologies as well as to involve the civil society in decision-making processes.

In 2020, CAREC intensified its work to support the CA countries in preparation for COP26. Thus, CAREC together with international and government partners – together with the involvement of representatives of civil society – has initiated consultations at regional and national levels. The consultations are aimed at developing the consolidated position of the region to address urgent issues in the countries of Central Asia caused by climate change and aggravated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Together with its partners, CAREC is jointly developing Regional Statements on behalf of the Central Asian governments and civil society to be voiced at UNFCCC COP26.

The draft Regional Statement for UNFCCC COP26, first of all, emphasizes the extreme vulnerability of the region to climate change, and its serious affects on ecosystems, national economies, and public health. At the same time the region has a high potential for testing innovative technologies, methods, and approaches to increase climate change resilience and fulfill the Paris Agreement objectives.

NGOs of Central Asia countries in their draft Regional Statement urge the governments of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and the international and business community to strengthen national and regional programs in order to prevent the climate crisis and its consequences in the region, as well as to increase the role of civil society in this process at all levels.

Interview with Zafar Makhmudov, the CAREC Executive Director (in Russian).


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