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Nexus Investment // "The Water, Energy and Food Security is at the Heart of Central Asia's Socioeconomic Development"

On 12 October 2018, the third meeting of the Nexus Regional Steering Committee dedicated to the development of a portfolio of investment projects to foster water, energy and food security in Central Asia was held in Astana. Representatives of the Executive Committee of International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea, basin organizations, national ministries and agencies responsible for water, land management, energy and economic development and experts from all five Central Asian countries participated in the meeting.

This article was originally published by CAREC and republished on the Nexus Resource Platform with the permission of its authors.

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The meeting was organized within the Project "Central Asia Nexus Dialogue Project: Fostering Water, Energy and Food Security Nexus Dialogue and Multi-Sector Investment". The project is funded by the European Union and implemented by the Regional Environmental Centre of Central Asia in partnership with the International Union for Conservation of Nature and with the support of the Executive Committee of International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea. Phase I will last until December 2019 (total budget: €1.52 mln; EU contribution: €1.3 mln).

"As water and energy resources in Central Asia in Central Asia are highly imbalanced, the water, energy and food security is at the heart of the region's socio-economic development. Our Nexus Project is aimed at rendering support to the countries of Central Asia through cross-border and multi-sectoral planning with an ultimate goal of facilitating sustainable and climate-resilient investments for increased security in Central Asia", said Ambassador Sven-Olov Carlsson, Head of the EU Delegation to Kazakhstan.

Six investment project ideas elaborated through consultations in countries and with regionally recognized experts in Central Asia provided ample dialogue on the potential of proposed solutions to foster water, energy and food security in the region. 

The expert of EU Nexus CA Dialogue Project Sagit Ibatullin noted: “The implementation of at least one of the selected projects will prove a practical transition of Central Asian countries from an individual search for solutions to water, energy and food security to a joint one for the stable development of the region, such a transition is crucial.”

Proposals address such issues as sustainable afforestation of the dried bottom of the Aral Sea, modernization of the water management system and facilities, improvement of reclaimed irrigated lands in the basin of the Amudarya and Syrdarya rivers, integrated development of eco- and agro-tourism, sustainable water and energy supply. The most promising project proposals will be discussed and further developed together with the countries and International Financial Institutions. 

Bolat Bekniyaz, Director of IFAS Executive Board in Kazakhstan, said: "Development of the Aral Sea dried bottom to restore nature and improve the livelihoods of the local population is a strategic target of all our countries. Our project proposes an integrated approach to reach this target through the planting of a Green Belt, rehabilitation of abundant drainage networks and the introduction of new agriculture technologies. If it is supplemented by similar activities from the Uzbek side, the benefit for our people will be multiplied."

The fourth meeting of the Regional Steering Committee is planned for February 2019 in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

About the Nexus Regional Dialogue Programme in Central Asia

"Central Asia Nexus Dialogue project: Fostering Water, Energy and Food Security Nexus Dialogue and Multi-Sector Investment” or Nexus project is implemented by CAREC in cooperation with the International Union for Conservation of Nature with the financial support of the European Union. The overall objective of the project is to create a multi-sectoral enabling environment to facilitate sustainable and climate-resilient investments for increased water, energy, food security and ecosystems in Central Asia. The project is implemented in five countries of Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan) during the period 2016-2019.

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