BISHKEK, KYRGYZ REPUBLIC (November 10, 2022) – Today, in Bishkek, USAID launched a Community of Practice webpage that will serve as an online knowledge repository and discussion platform for water specialists in the region, and provide an important foundation for ensuring sustainable collaboration on water, energy and climate change issues in Central Asia.
Tha launch of this e-platform was announced during a meeting of the Network of Academic Societies (NAS), which had convened to discuss the opportunities for integrating concepts of Integrated Water Resource Management (IRWM) and the Water-Energy-Food-Environment (WEFE) Nexus into curricula of water-related graduate courses.
Organized by USAID’s Regional Water and Vulnerable Environment Activity (USAID WAVE) in collaboration with the Regional Environmental Center for Central Asia, the European Union and the Swiss Development Corporation, the NAS meeting included 32 participants from 24 universities and four international development programs focused on questions about improving knowledge and training for the next generation of water and natural resource specialists who matriculate through Central Asian universities.
“IWRM and WEFE Nexus concepts are vital tools for devising solutions to address climate change impacts on water, food, and the environment. Working together and integrating these ideas in our higher education programs is an important first step for training future specialists who will face these complex issues in our region,” said Aigerim Ospanova, Associate Professor and Head of the Reginal Studies Department at Gumilyov Eurasian National University. “The Community of Practice will offer an important meeting space for academics, professionals and students to share ideas and resources.”
The Community of Practice website will be hosted by the Eurasian River Basin Management Portal, and feature spaces for an e-library, e-learning, IRWM and WEFE Nexus course curricula and an index of water experts and professionals for building professional networks.
USAID’s Regional Water and Vulnerable Environment Activity is aimed at enhancing regional capacity to manage shared water resources and mitigatie environmental risks in the Syr Darya and Amu Darya river basins. The Activity takes a multi-level governance approach to tackling complex regional water challenges by strengthening collaboration through stakeholder dialogues, developing a shared vision for integrated and sustainable river basin management using evidence and modeling, and fostering collaborative action across sectors and governance levels.