“Transboundary Water Management in Central Asia” Programme is implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ GmbH) on behalf of German Federal Foreign Office. This program represents one of the mechanisms of the “Berlin Process” – the Initiative which is an offer by the German Federal Government to the countries of Central Asia to support them in water management and to make water a subject of intensified transboundary cooperation.
GIZ GmbH has laid the groundwork for the programme in each of the five Central Asian states and has developed a programme strategy together with local partner organizations. The strategy has three components:
In the framework of Component1 – Fostering regional institutional cooperation, the project on “Regional Dialogue and Cooperation in Water Resources Management” is implemented in cooperation with UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE). This project presents contribution to implementation of the EC IFAS activities aimed at the institutional and legal strengthening of IFAS and its organizations.
Although there are already institutions in Central Asia that regulate matters of water distribution, such as the Interstate Commission for Water Coordination of the International Fund for saving the aral sea, their work is hampered by their weak position in the political system. No universally recognized and implemented guidelines are in place for the water sector. The programme tackles precisely this issue: not only are the water sector institutions to be strengthened, for instance by defining more clearly their mandate and mission, but plans of action and codes of conduct will also be produced. This component is being implemented in close cooperation with UNECE.
Component 2 – Strengthening transboundary river basin management
This component focuses especially on the smaller rivers which are particularly suited to applying the basic principles of river basin management. Measures include drawing up inventories and management plans, making proposals in the field of dam safety and the environmental impacts of dams, and supporting the establishment of monitoring systems and data exchange. GIZ GmbH is working in close consultation with the European Commission, which is highly active in this field.
Component 3 – Implementing national pilot projects
National pilot projects serve primarily to implement specific measures at national level that showcase in the most tangible manner the opportunities presented by improved water use. These range from setting up modern irrigation systems to constructing smaller hydropower facilities.
Close coordination with the other projects under way as a part of the Berlin Process is pivotal to the programme. Those activities range from establishing a regional research network for the water sector (implemented by the German Research Centre for Geosciences Potsdam and the German Aerospace Center) to organizing visits by delegations from Central Asia. This integration delivers synergies and greatly increases the impact of the measures.
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