Regional Working Groups on the Aral Sea Work in Ashgabat





The Regional working groups on the development of the Action Program to assist the countries of the Aral Sea Basin (ASBP-4) and improvement of the IFAS institutional and legal mechanisms held its third session at the Archabil Hotel in Ashgabat in frames of Turkmenistan’s presidency over the International Fund for Aral Sea.

The meeting was organized by the IFAS Executive Committee with the support of the GIZ Regional Program "Transboundary Water Resources Management in Central Asia", the EU-funded project “Nexus Dialogue in Central Asia”, implemented jointly with the Regional Environmental Centre for Central Asia (CAREC).

Representatives of Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, the IFAS Executive Committee, the Interstate Coordination Water Commission (ICWC), the Interstate Commission on Sustainable Development (ICSD) among others participated in the meeting.

One of the most effective mechanisms to overcome the problems arisen in the region in connection with the Aral Sea crisis is the development and implementation of Action Programs to assist the countries of the Aral Sea basin. Since the establishment of IFAS, three programs have been implemented: ASBP-1, ASBP-2, ASBP-3.

According to the decisions taken at the meetings of the IFAS Board on January 30 and August 23, 2018, the IFAS Executive Committee was instructed to draft ASBP-4 together with ICWC and ICSD, as well as with the involvement of national experts and international partners.

It is implemented in the following areas: the integrated use of water resources; environment; socio-economic area; improvement of institutional and legal mechanisms. This program is being developed taking into account the commitments of countries on the SDGs, the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and relevant national programs, including those initiated by the Turkmen leader.

For inclusion in the ASBP-4, the IFAS founding countries and their international partners, in total, prepared almost 140 proposals covering all four areas of the Program. During the previous meeting of the Regional Working Group, held in Ashgabat in July this year, 36 priority projects were selected from them. These projects were finalized and submitted for approval during the two-day meeting of the Working Group in Ashgabat.

The Regional Working Group will work on improvement of the institutional structure and the legal framework of IFAS. The following steps on cooperation will be agreed and appropriate decisions will be taken on the outcomes of the meeting.

In addition, a Coordination meeting of the IFAS Executive Committee will have a meeting with representatives of international organizations and potential donors in Ashgabat on November 27 to determine specific areas of cooperation for the implementation of the ASBP-4.