UNRCCA CONVENED A CONFERENCE FORUM ON WATER AND MOUNTAINS TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
On 6 June 2022, in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, UNRCCA in partnership with the UNESCO and Government of Tajikistan convened a Conference Forum on “Water and Mountains Towards Sustainable Development” within the framework of the second High-Level International Conference on the International Decade for Action “Water for Sustainable Development”, 2018-2028. The event was organised within the framework of the UNRCCA “Strategy in support of cooperation between the states of Central Asia in the field of water, energy, environment and climate for 2022-2025”. The Forum gathered around 350 participants representing governmental institutions, UN agencies, international organisations, scientific circles and academia, and NGOs. The Conference was organised in three panels, - the high-level one, representing views from governments of 5 Central Asian states and IFAS, as well as panel of international experts.
SRSG Natalia Gherman in her statements underlined the importance of undertaking actions to intensify practical, scientific and educational work at the regional level in support of joint efforts of the states in addressing the glaciers melt. The transboundary nature of the water and environmental resources of the Aral Sea basin dictates the need for deepening cooperation between the states of the region. In the end, as she noted, such cooperation, should be aimed at ensuring the needed quality of water for the population, development and exchanges of technologies, creating conditions for investments in the water and energy sectors. Our task is to support regional efforts in identifying the most promising and mutually beneficial forms of cooperation in water, energy, environmental and climatic spheres, as SRSG Gherman underlined. Such a support from the UN side should be a catalyst of modernizing of the water and energy sectors in the region, which in turn, should help preserving nonrenewable and invaluable natural resources of Central Asia for future generations.
The Forum provided a viable platform for exchanging experiences and best practice, familiarizing with specific case studies and projects from high mountain regions, including from Central Asia, as well as presenting the current water-related and climate policies of specific countries. The Forum also focused on linkages between the cryosphere, climate, water, communities, with the view to achieve water security in the mountainous areas under the increasingly challenging conditions of climate change and the accelerating glacier retreat.
As the outcome, the Conference Forum considered concrete recommendations on how to accelerate work in the field of climate, glaciers melt, as well as in the scientific, educational and advocacy fields contributing to the overall objectives of the International Decade for Action “Water for Sustainable Development”, 2018-2028.