Outcomes of the regional seminar on water quality issues in Central Asia
November 24-25, 2016, Almaty hosted a two-day regional seminar on «Strengthening cooperation on water quality in Central Asia», which was aimed at joint discussion of a possible work plan and building the capacity of specialists from national agencies in order to improve water quality management in the region.
The seminar was attended by the representatives from Central Asian Environmental agencies, Water ministries, Hydromet services, Departments of the State Sanitary and Epidemiological Control, academia and independent institutions.
Nowadays the issues of water resources management and access to water are highly prioritized for the countries of Central Asia. At the same time, issues of water quality remain very important to the region, because water that meets the sanitary and epidemiological requirements is one of the essential conditions for the preservation of human health.
The Central Asian countries have already accumulated certain experience of cooperation on water quality, which promotes mutual trust between the organizations by sharing the research data, exchanging visits, etc. Moreover, the five Central Asian countries have considered the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including the SDG 6 "Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all", as an important condition for improving the overall situation in the region. Therefore, cooperation among environmental and water agencies on water quality issues should be one of the prior areas in the region.
The regional seminar has become a good start for the “Strengthening cooperation on water quality management in Central Asia” project, which is implemented by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe in cooperation with CAREC, and funded by Finland and FinWaterWEI. The main goal of the project is to support the development of efficient national policies, as well as the capacity building on water quality issues in the context of IWRM in Central Asia. Since CAREC has already been working in this direction within the previous phase of the project during 2009-2012, Ms. Ekaterina Strikeleva, Smart Waters Project Manager, stated about the project results about the best practices on water quality cooperation in Central Asia. The participants were also able to evidently explore the experience of Moldova in monitoring and management of water quality, as well as to discuss the possibility of adopting it to the Central Asian region._______________________
As a result of the two-day regional seminar participants along with the organizers performed useful suggestions, drew up a preliminary work plan and expressed interest in further cooperation and dialogue.