Central Asia – On September 19, the Regional Environmental Centre for Central Asia (CAREC), with the support of the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ), held the first meeting of the working group to support the functioning of the Central Asia Pavilion at the 28th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC COP28).
The discussion of important thematic and organizational issues brought together nominated representatives of the relevant government agencies of the Central Asian countries, agreed representatives of international organizations and CAREC.
Opening the meeting, CAREC Executive Director Zafar Makhmudov said that Central Asian countries will have a single Central Asian Pavilion at COP28 of the UNFCCC this year.
The participants provided information about the events planned by the Central Asian countries and development partners in the Central Asian Pavilion. They discussed the thematic content of the agenda for the Central Asian Pavilion. Thus, GIZ representatives shared their plans to present a regional strategy for adaptation to climate change and organize side events on the problems of the region's glaciers and on attracting green financing with the participation of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and other international funds.
Representatives of the five Central Asian countries received information about the ongoing work on the thematic saturation of the program of the Central Asian Pavilion. The meeting proposed to organize a preparatory meeting in the run-up to COP28 of the UNFCCC in Astana (Kazakhstan) in November this year.
Nobel Peace Prize laureate and international expert Alexei Kokorin briefed the meeting participants on the current version of the UNFCCC COP28 agenda. He outlined the goals, objectives, and main activities of the Conference of the Parties this year and presented a preliminary list of side events.
Alexey Kokorin also gave recommendations on the thematic distribution of days and the organization of special events in the Central Asian Pavilion. He highlighted that every detail matters during the negotiation process of the Conference of the Parties: the "cogs" of the decisions of the Conference of the Parties immediately or in a few years can affect the country's access to climate finance. As the international expert noted, the events of the Central Asian Pavilion must be consonant with the hot issues on the negotiation agenda and proper days.
CAREC Executive Director Zafar Makhmudov stressed that in the Conference of the Parties' negotiation process, the position of the negotiating group from among the Central Asian countries will be more weighty than that of each country separately. He proposed forming such a negotiating group at the upcoming Conference of the Parties in Dubai (UAE).
Nobel Peace Prize laureate Alexei Kokorin noted that the presence of Central Asian countries in different groups does not prevent them from joining other groups. The UNFCCC Secretariat is obliged to give the floor to all groups. Alexei Kokorin recommends that each Central Asian country mention other countries of the Central Asian region in its speeches. In his opinion, the proposal to declare the Year of Glaciers from a group of countries will sound more weighty.
The meeting participants also discussed the structure and design of the Central Asian Pavilion and the resources necessary for its effective functioning at UNFCCC COP28.
As noted, the Central Asian countries will gather additionally to discuss the regional statement on behalf of the governments of the Central Asian countries at COP28.
As a result of the meeting, it was decided to hold meetings of the working group on the organization of the Central Asian Pavilion regularly once every two weeks. The next meeting will be on October 3, 2023.
The meeting is held within the framework of the project “Strengthening coordination and positioning of Central Asia in global climate processes” implemented by CAREC under GIZ support and is part of the series of meetings “Regional Dialogue of Central Asian Countries on Joint Preparation for the 28th Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention on Climate Change”.
Dilovarsho Dustzoda, Program Manager “Climate Change and Sustainable Energy”/ CAMP4ASB AF Project Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org
Vladimir Grebnev, CAREC Climate Change Specialist, email@example.com
Recall that for the first time in the history of the Conferences of the Parties to the UNFCCC, CAREC, with the support of the governments of the Central Asian countries, development partners and non-governmental organizations, organized the Central Asia Pavilion at the UNFCCC COP26 in November 2021 in Glasgow (UK).
The Central Asian Pavilion, united by the slogan “5 countries – 1 region – 1 vote”, allowed the Central Asian countries to present to the international community their investment potential, role in the global climate process, prospects and current funding needs and opportunities for cooperation.
For the first time in the history of the COP, two Regional Statements on behalf of the governments of the Central Asian countries and NGOs were also announced in the Central Asian Pavilion. At the next UNFCCC COP27 in 2022, Central Asian countries have already issued three regional statements on behalf of governments, civil society and youth.