Central Asia // First Meeting of the Regional Working Group on the Nexus Project in Tashkent
On 13 March 2018 the Regional Working Group held its first meeting. The main topic of discussion was multi-sectoral cooperation in the context of the Aral Sea Basin Programme (ASBP). The event was held in the framework of the EU-funded project “Central Asia Nexus Dialogue: Fostering Water, Energy and Food Security Nexus Dialogue and Multi-Sector Investment ”, Nexus. It is implemented by CAREC and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The ultimate task of the Regional Working Group is to develop a portfolio of investment projects to foster water, energy and food (WEF) security in Central Asia.
Representatives of the authorised agencies from Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, the Executive Committee of International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea (EC IFAS), the Executive Board for IFAS in Kazakhstan, discussed the approach for developing WEF Security Nexus-based investment projects, drawing lessons from other regions.
The EU Delegation presented financing opportunities provided by the EU Investment Facility for Central Asia (IFCA). To enhance the possibilities for the WEF Nexus in Central Asia, IUCN presented experiences and lessons learned from other regions and a roadmap for an analysis of existing institutional arrangements and capacity development programme.
Professor Olivier Cogels, International River Basin Management and Water Diplomacy Expert and Senior Advisor to the European Commission, presented how regional multi-sector investment programs in the interests of all countries may provide significant socio-economic benefits while ensuring WEF security cost-effectively and sustainably.
“In Central Asia, the growing political will at Presidents’ level to develop economic cooperation within Central Asia offers a unique window of opportunity to shape the IFAS ASBP into a major and highly visible Regional Investment Program for the benefit of all Central Asian countries. I’m convinced that with this approach, the region will be much stronger for meeting its many challenges and accelerating sustainable economic growth in a peaceful way”, highlighted Professor Cogels.
As director of IFAS Branch in Kazakhstan Bolat Bekniyaz noted, the most important outcome of the meeting is that participants have set up a regional coordination mechanism to apply the WEF Nexus approach for the development of ASBP.
Source: press release by CAREC