June 16-18, Ashgabat, Turkmenistan. - A meeting was held of the Interstate Commission on Sustainable Development (ICSD) of International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea (IFAS).
The event was supported by the international organizations: UNECE, UNEP, UNDP Turkmenistan, Executive Committee IFAS, CAREC, World Wildlife Fund, United Nations Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy in Central Asia, Office of the European Union in Turkmenistan, GIZ and World Bank.
CAREC has provided support for the ICSD meeting, where a presentation was made by Mr. Tolib Sultanov, the CAREC’s expert of coordination with regional organizations. It reflected the general points of regional cooperation in the field of environmental protection and sustainable development of Central Asia.
All the parties - participants of the meeting, has agreed on and signed eight decisions, including the decision "On transfer the chairmanship in ICSD IFAS», to Turkmenistan.
Several regional projects were presented at the meeting, both under development and effective:
- With the UNECE - on the support of the Working group (after consultation with the ICSD Members States), to coordinate actions on water pollution, which is the priority area of CA REAP;
- With the International Center of Environmental Technologies UNEP (Osaka, Japan) several agreements have been signed including an agreement on the preparation of national strategy and urban waste management (Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan). The project with SIC ISDC on the review of waste management in Central Asia is under discussion.
- The project FLERMONECA “Management of forests and biodiversity, including the monitoring of the environment in Central Asia” has been reviewed. The project supported an initiative for improving the financial support to Ecoportal SIC ICSD;
- With the UNEP Regional Office in Europe the possibilities are reviewed to develop the partnership on "green" economy and upgrade CA REAP.
- EU program on "Sustainable Energy for Central Asia: Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency" drafted a programme project and proposals for the development of renewable energy sources for the countries of Central Asia over the medium term". The documents have been submitted to the next meeting of the ICSD.
In the framework of ICSD, with the support of the UNECE and the UNEP Regional Office in Europe, two documents were drafted: "Evaluation research on the preparation of recommendations for strengthening the institutional and legal framework for regional cooperation in the field of environmental protection, within the ICSD mandate" and "Roadmap / Programme" on the implementation of these recommendations. According to the decision No. 3, the “Programme on the implementation of recommendations for strengthening the institutional and legal framework for regional cooperation in environmental protection, within the ICSD mandate" needs to be finalized and presented at the next meeting.
After the CAREC’s presentation, questions were raised by the Kyrgyz delegation, regarding the project "Covenant of Mayors - East”. It is not clear what steps should be taken to and after the signing of the agreement. Turkmenistan thanked the general board of CAREC for active collaboration and support provided to the Ministry of Nature Protection of Turkmenistan, as at the current meeting in Turkmenistan, so at the last meeting in Tajikistan. The positive growth of fruitful cooperation and understanding was marked.
Regarding the collaboration of ICSD and CAREC, the following steps have been proposed by ICSD:
1. The Work plan has to be finalized, and the Work plans of ICSD and CAREC are to be adjusted accordingly.
2. Teamwork on finalizing the "Program for the implementation of the recommendations for strengthening the institutional and legal framework for regional cooperation in the field of environmental protection within the ICSD mandate" (according to remarks)
3. Assisting to ICSD in the drafting of regulatory documents for meetings and reporting forms of ICSD.