CAREC meets German Bundestag
On July 25, 2017 CAREC welcomed the member of the German Bundestag*, Hon. Dr Philipp Lengsfeld and Consul General of the Federal Republic of Germany in Almaty, Mr Jorn Rosenberg in Almaty.
The main aim of the visit was to get closer exposure to environmental issues around the Aral Sea basin and the activities of CAREC in the region.
During the meeting, CAREC staff provided a brief overview of current projects and highlighted the ongoing cooperation with the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ), and the sustained cooperation of the centre with the German-Kazakh University within the framework of the Smart Waters project. Moreover, the discussion pad featured CAREC’s dialogue platforms and the "Environment for Central Asia" process, which was presented at the Central Asian International Environmental Forum early June in Ashgabat.
Also, during the conversation, the parties exchanged views on the Aral Sea problems and discussed in detail the living conditions in close proximity to the sea. The Aral Sea catastrophe caused enormous social and environmental damage, negatively affecting the health and livelihoods of millions of people. As a result, poisonous salt spread to hundreds of kilometres. It was discovered both in Europe and in Antarctica. It is obvious that a catastrophe of such a magnitude cannot be solved within the borders of one country. In this context, the promotion of transboundary environmental cooperation is an integral part of all activities CAREC carrying out across Central Asia.
In addition, together with international, regional and national organisations, CAREC is mobilizing technical and financial resources for the implementation of the Aral Sea Basin Program (ASBP-3). In four directions, which are included in the program, more than 20 regional and national projects have been implemented and are being implemented for a total amount of over $ 8 million.
Dr Lengsfeld and Mr Rosenberg noted the role of CAREC as a stable and respected platform for negotiations. Potential collaboration within the dialogue platform “Meeting of parliamentarians and representatives of foreign ministries” was mentioned as a departing point of future cooperation. In conclusion, the parties expressed their hope for further cooperation.
» Smart Waters Project has been implemented since October 2015. It covers five countries of Central Asia and Afghanistan. The aim of the project is to create a system that will solve the problems of lack of core knowledge in the region, build working relationships between specialists in water management in the region, and also demonstrate the potential of the basin approach to water management and cooperation with academic institutions.