Climate Sensitive Water Resources Management in Central Asia

Local news, 30.11.2023

A joint German/Swiss Regional Programme
Press release of the Kick-off Meeting 

On November 29, 2023, the kick-off meeting of the Regional Programme “Climate Sensitive Water Resources Management in Central Asia”, commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and co-financed by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), was held in Tashkent. The Programme is implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH.

This Programme was developed as part of the Green Central Asia Initiative in accordance with the Regional Action Plan for a joint political dialogue on climate, environment and security, agreed upon by the Central Asian countries in November 2021. The Action Plan identified the topic of “Climate change impact on regional water resources management” as one of the main regional priorities. The goal of the Programme is to strengthen the capacity of national and regional organisations responsible for water resources management to implement climate-sensitive integrated water resources management at the regional level. Key envisaged objectives of the programme are:

  • To improve cooperation and planning processes at regional and river basin level
  • To build capacities for climate-sensitive integrated water resources management for national and regional water managers
  • To strengthen implementation capacities on sub-themes of climate-sensitive integrated water resources management

The “Climate Sensitive Water Resources Management in Central Asia” project is an excellent illustration of how our countries can partner to forge a single vision to make climate-originated changes less harmful and work together on adaptive measures in the water management sector said Dr. Michael Wimmer, Head of Cooperation of the German Embassy in Uzbekistan at the opening. Ms. Rahel Bösch, Deputy Head of Mission/Head of Cooperation, Embassy of Switzerland in Uzbekistan emphasized: “We welcome representants from all Central Asian countries meeting today to discuss the challenges in water resources management and to agree on work plans. Switzerland stands ready to further strengthening regional coperation to more effective water management with this important joint program. . Mr. Ilkhom Jurayev, Head of the Information-Analytical and Resource Center of the Ministry of Water Resources of the Republic of Uzbekistan greeted the particpants as representative of the host country. Thereafter, Dr. Caroline Milow, GIZ Programme Manager, introduced the joint German-Swiss Action “Climate-Sensitive Water Resources Management in Central Asia”.

The kick-off meeting included presentations of and gave room for discussions with national and international partners on the Programme and its components including the indicative Programme Implementation Plan for 2023-2027 and the Programme Action Plan for 2024.

The meeting was attended by authorised representatives appointed from each Central Asian country (representatives of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Central Asia, relevant line ministries), as well as representatives of the international partners of the Programme.

For reference:

“…The Leaders of States underlined the importance of combating climate change and taking measures to adapt to its effects, as provided by the German Green Central Asia Initiative, which represents the Joint German approach to climate adaption in Central Asia. In order to develop best practices in close cooperation with their Central Asian partners, German ministries support the key topics with diverse projects in the sectors of water resources and climate risk management, energy, agriculture but also related vocational training, research and green economy...” - excerpt from the Joint Declaration by Heads of State of Central Asia and the Federal Chancellor of Germany dated September 29, 2023.

“…In accordance with Switzerland’s Foreign Policy Strategy 2020–23 and International Cooperation Strategy 2021–24, the Swiss commitment to Central Asia focuses on supporting economic, social and democratic development, promoting an integrated and regional approach in the complex field of transboundary water management, strengthening economic ties, and promoting good governance … Given increasing pressure on natural resources and the conflict dynamics related to water, the [Swiss Cooperation Programme Central Asia 2022–25] will continue to rely on a hydro-diplomacy approach in the region, viewing water as an instrument for peace and encouraging actors to see the socio-economic benefits of water cooperation. ” excerpt from the Swiss Cooperation Programme Central Asia 2022–25 (page 9 and 17).