EU – Central Asia partnership platform: CAREC at the 5th meeting of the working group on Environment and Climate Change
December 15-16, 2016, Brussels (Belgium) hosted the Fifth meeting of the Working Group on Environment and Climate Change, which main objectives were to examine the status of the environment in the region and the priorities of the partners in this context and to draw up a Platform Project Working Plan for cooperation drawing on lessons from the previous joint cooperation actions.
The mission of the working group is to organize and provide the political dialogue between the EU and Central Asian countries, as well as in the Central Asian region to enhance cooperation and progress on environmental change and climate.
The event was attended by representatives of the Central Asian countries, the EU Member States and institutional structures, the various departments and agencies of the United Nations.
During the meeting participants discussed:
- Stock of policy developments at regional (EU and CA) and bilateral level since the Working Group meeting on Environment and Climate change of July 2015 in Tashkent
- Reflections on main developments in Central Asia on Environmental Governance, and Climate Change
- The identification of the Working Plan of the Environment and Climate Change Platform
- Development of synergies and cooperation with international organizations and civil society
- Discuss the timeframe and proposals for hosting the forthcoming High Level Conference in Central Asia in 2018
- Agree the date of the next meeting of the ECC Working Group in 2017
In the context of growing EU-Central Asia partnership, Ms Hanna Vuokka of the European External Action Service, Regional Advisor for Central Asia highlighted the achievements of the ongoing CAWECOOP project that has so far strongly stimulated trust and cooperation among Central Asian states and CAREC’s role in implementing this project. Similarly, Ms Caroline Milow of GIZ has also underlined the collaborative efforts with CAREC and achievements in transboundary project activities.
Given the importance of the talking points of the meeting, CAREC had organised a meeting with CA representatives over a dinner on 14 December 2016 in order to consolidate and strengthen the regional joint position on the relevant matters of the meeting.
On behalf of CAREC, Dr Iskandar Abdullaev, Executive Director, delivered a statement reflecting upon the progressive development of sustainable partnership with the EU and on current and upcoming collaborative efforts across Central Asia. Referring to the recent and ongoing project activities, Dr Abdullaev touched upon the existing challenges and drawn lessons over the past years. At the end of his statement, highlighting the need for cooperation in the context of degrading ecosystem of the region, Dr Abdullaev once more called all stakeholders of the region for more collaborative and joint action, while encouraging the donor community to act in a more coordinated manner by targeting also the civil society and business sector. He also underlined that CAREC continues further to assist the CA governments in addressing environmental matters of the region and that its existing platforms for cooperation are exactly designed for this purpose.
The two days of meeting of the working group paved another ground to stimulate the collaboration for better environment of the Central Asian region.