Ashgabat hosted the sixth meeting of regional organizations

15.11.2017

Ashgabat hosted the sixth meeting of regional organizations

The event was held on November 13 and 14, 2017. The main objective of the meeting was to coordinate the promotion of regional processes and programs on environmental protection and to coordinate efforts in achieving sustainable development.


The meeting was organized by the Executive Committee of the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea (Executive Committee of IFAS) and the Regional Environmental Centre for Central Asia (CAREC) with the support of the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ) in the framework of the "Transboundary Water Resources Management in Central Asia" Programme in cooperation with the project of the European Union and CAREC entitled “Promotion dialogue for conflict prevention related to water nexus in Central Asia. Central Asia Water Nexus Cooperation” (CAWECOOP).

The meeting began with a solemn signing of a memorandum on cooperation between the Executive Committee of IFAS and CAREC. Please learn more about it here.

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The two-day meeting programme included a detailed discussion of joint efforts, challenges and prospects, as well as plans of organizations involved in sustainable development and water management in Central Asia.

In particular, coordination of measures to support and update the Regional Environmental Action Plan (REAP) was discussed. The document has been approved by the IFAS Board in 2003 in five priority areas: water pollution, waste management, degradation of mountain ecosystems, land degradation, air pollution. REAP has a regional scope and strategic character. In connection with the adoption by the Central Asian countries of the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement, it has become necessary to revise this document in the light of global and regional agenda.

The representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan in his speech spoke about the preparation of the summit of the heads of the founding states of IFAS, which is planned to be held in Ashgabat in 2018, and stated about the Central Asian Water Strategy and the UN Special Program for Saving the Aral Sea.

The meeting participants discussed the implementation of the Program of Action to assist the countries of the Aral Sea basin for the period 2011-2015 (ASBP-3), the main goal of which was the implementation of long-term programs for overcoming the Aral Sea crisis, strengthening cooperation through targeted actions at the national, regional and international levels for improving the ecological and socio-economic situation in the Aral Sea basin. An analysis of the implementation of ASBP-3 to understand the challenges and opportunities is a key for the preparation of ASBP-4.

An active discussion was held on the development of the "Environment for Central Asia" process.

As the primary tasks facing regional organizations, there is an emphasis on strengthening the coordination of the work of regional organizations among themselves and their interaction with international organizations and financial institutions. Among other things, information exchange by all participants, primarily at the regional level, is also recognized as a priority.

Participants:

Executive Committee of IFAS, basin water management organization (BWO) «Syrdaria» и BWO «Amudaria», Interstate Commission for Sustainable Development (ICSD), Secretariat of ICSD, Regional Hydrology Center, Regional Mountain Center of CA and CAREC. The branches of the Executive Committee of IFAS in the countries of Central Asia: the Executive Directorate in Kazakhstan, the Kyzylorda Department, the Executive Directorate in Kyrgyzstan, the Branch of the Executive Committee of IFAS in Tajikistan, the Dashoguz branch of the Executive Committee of IFAS in Turkmenistan, the IFAS Agency in Uzbekistan, the Nukus branch of the Executive Committee of IFAS.

And also, representatives of international organizations - the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Regional Center for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia, the OSCE, German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ).


Background

Interaction on environmental issues is crucial for the peaceful and harmonious development of the Central Asian states. Realizing the exceptional importance of this, countries established a number of regional organizations that are called upon to promote interstate cooperation, being both an instrument and a platform for harmonizing the various positions of countries regarding the use of common natural resources. As a dialogue platform the idea of regular meetings of representatives of regional organizations was proposed.

The first meeting (May 25-26, 2015, Almaty) outlined the importance of the given dialogue platform for information exchange and joint action planning.

The second meeting (March 10-11, 2016, Almaty) determined the need to develop the "Concept of interaction and cooperation of regional organizations" and joint participation in regional and international processes.

The third meeting (December 5-6, 2016, Almaty) focused the participants' attention on the development of the regional information space. The "Concept of interaction and cooperation of regional organizations" and "Joint Action Plan for 2017" were adopted.

At the fourth meeting (March 16-17, 2017, Almaty), the participants supported the establishment of the "Environment for Central Asia" process and holding the Central Asian International Environmental Forum in Ashgabat.

The fifth meeting (September 4-5, 2017, Tashkent) was organized by SIC ICWC. It outlines proposals for strengthening the work of regional organizations in promoting the principles of integrated water resources management and sustainable development.

The sixth meeting (November 13-14, 2017, Ashgabat) was held by the Executive Committee of IFAS for the coordination of the joint efforts in implementing the proposals outlined in the Concept of Turkmenistan's Presidency in IFAS and other issues of sustainable development of mutual interest


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