Meeting of NAS members: rational use and protection of water resources in the context of climate change

Publication date: 12 June 2024

Dushanbe, Tajikistan – On June 12, the Academy of Public Administration (APA) under the President of the Republic of Tajikistan hosted a meeting of the Network of Academic Societies (NAS) members, organized by the USAID Central Asia’s Regional Water and Vulnerable Environment Activity (WAVE), the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the Regional Environmental Centre for Central Asia (CAREC) in cooperation with the APA under the President of the Republic of Tajikistan.

The meeting was timed to coincide with the Science and Technology Forum within the Third High-level International Conference on the International Decade of Action “Water for Sustainable Development” 2018-2028. This year’s meeting focused on the rational use and protection of water resources in Central Asia.

“This NAS meeting within the framework of the Dushanbe Water Process supports the academic initiatives in the field of water resources management, allowing scientists and researchers to exchange advanced ideas and developments for connecting the Central Asian region. Such interaction, supported by WAVE, contributes not only to the development of science, but also to the introduction of innovative solutions into practice, which is extremely important for sustainable water resources management at the global level,” said Kevin Adkin, Regional Environment Specialist, USAID/Central Asia.

“The Network of the Academic Societies of Central Asia is exactly the platform that provides universities with the opportunity to cooperate and improve their educational programs. We are pleased to support this platform and facilitate the process of experience exchange and teaching staff training,” said Zafar Makhmudov, Executive Director of CAREC.

Approximately 80 representatives of universities, research institutes, international and regional organizations discussed technologies and best practices in the rational use of water resources, including innovative modeling tools for science-based solutions in the field of rational use of water and energy resources.


“We are sincerely glad to welcome the NAS members to the walls of the APA under the President of the Republic of Tajikistan. Today's meeting is an important step towards strengthening international cooperation on the rational use of water resources in Central Asia. Discussing the prospects of partnership between universities allows us to combine scientific potential and share best practices to solve urgent problems in the region. I am confident that our joint efforts will lead to significant scientific achievements and contribute to the sustainable development of Central Asia,” said Davron Safarzoda, Rector of the APA under the President of the Republic of Tajikistan.

The meeting also summed up the results of the implementation of the academic component of the Blue Peace Central Asia project. Thus, the results of work on strengthening educational programs at universities in the region in three areas were presented - hydrological modeling, water diplomacy and Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). The participants had the opportunity to get to know the results of a study of cross-border cooperation between countries in the Syrdarya and Amudarya river basins using a practical tool of water diplomacy - the Blue Peace Index. Ashanti Bleich, Regional Program Officer in Water Infrastructure and Climate Change at SDC, presented plans for the development of the academic direction for the second phase of the Blue Peace CA project (2025-2029), which is planned to be implemented from September this year.

“Supporting NAS is crucial for Switzerland, as it empowers youth in Integrated Water Resources Management by developing unified curricula and training educators in hydromodeling, water diplomacy, WASH and water quality in Central Asia” noted Ashanti Bleisch.

In addition, the meeting allowed participants to receive information about opportunities for the academic and scientific community from development partners. Thus, the WAVE team spoke about the development of unified educational programs and the mobilization of the academic community to promote the IWRM and WEFE Nexus approaches in Central Asia. In turn, the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ) and SDC presented their projects on climate-sensitive water resources management in Central Asia and climate resilient integrated water resources management in the Zarafshan River basin.

It should be noted that this meeting also became a platform for signing and putting into effect the the Regulations on membership in the NAS – the main strategic document that was reviewed and approved at the NAS meeting on November 24, 2023. This document will help to formalize the NAS for the sustainability of its development and increase operational efficiency.

Thus, the last NAS meeting was an excellent opportunity for the academic community and research institutes to jointly consider possible ways to solve water issues in Central Asia. After all, it is the coordinated rational use of water resources that can lead to sustainable development, prosperity and stability of the entire region.




1.           United States Agency for International Cooperation

Additional information: Ludmila Kiktenko, Environmental Management Programme’s Manager, CAREC,  

#CoPP #USAID #WAVE #CAREC #CommunityOfPractice #NAS

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