REGULAR 61ST MEETING OF THE INTERSTATE COORDINATION WATER COMMISSION
The regular 61st meeting of the Interstate Coordination Water Commission for Central Asia was held on 16th April 2013.
The following matters were discussed under the agenda:
1. The results of the non-vegetation 2012-2013 in the Amudarya and Syrdarya river basins (responsible: BWO “Amudarya” and BWO “Syrdarya”).
2. Consideration and approval of water withdrawal limits and operation modes of reservoir cascades in the Amudarya and Syrdarya basins for the vegetation 2013 (responsible: BWO “Amudarya” and BWO “Syrdarya”).
3. Consideration of the finalized “Concept for developing information exchange and mechanisms of relationships among its participants in Central Asia” (responsible: SIC ICWC).
4. Main lines in improving ICWC activity and mechanisms of implementation:
- Plan of implementation for improvement of ICWC activity;
- Water Sector Capacity Building Strategy for the CA countries (responsible: SIC ICWC).
5. Agenda and venue of the next 62nd ICWC meeting.
Materials of the meeting will be published in the next ICWC Bulletin to be issued in July 2013.
THE OFFICE OF IFAS EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE TO BE OPENED IN TASHKENT
According to a resolution of the Government of Uzbekistan, the office of the Interstate Fund for saving the Aral Sea Executive Committee (EC IFAS) is to be located at number 15 Shota Rustaveli Street in the city of Tashkent.
This resolution also has set the organizational structure of the Executive Committee and remuneration grades for its staff.
The Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Uzbekistan was assigned to finance implementation of programs, projects and measures to protect and improve the Aral Sea basin within the limits of the state budget allocated for payment of membership fees of the Republic of Uzbekistan to the International Fund for saving the Aral Sea during the period of presidency of Uzbekistan, as well as other costs.
Let resemble that on 28th August 1992 in Nukus the participants of a research-to-practice conference on Aral and Prearalie in their Appeal to the Presidents, parliaments and the public of Central Asia, Kazakhstan, the Russian Federation and other NIS countries declared about their intention to establish an international fund on the Aral Sea problems and sign a respective agreement and legal and regulating texts on water resources management. The Heads of the five Central Asian states met on 4th January 1993 in Tashkent and decided to establish the International Fund for saving the Aral Sea (IFAS). The main goal of this institution is developing and supporting research and practical projects and programs aimed at environmental improvement in the areas suffering from the Aral Sea disaster and socio-economic problem solution in the region.
The Heads of the Central Asian states approved IFAS By-laws in Kzyl-Orda in March 1993. These By-laws established the Fund’s Executive administration in Almaty and decided on the formation of the Interstate Commission for the Aral Sea (ICAS) and its Executive Committee, with the headquarters in Tashkent. In February 1997, a meeting of the heads of the Central Asian States made a fundamental decision to restructure and merge the Executive administration and ICAS into the Executive Committee of IFAS with location on a rotation basis in the presiding country. The country founders preside alternately in the Fund and the heads of the CA states elect the IFAS President every 3 years. The IFAS was presided by N.Nazarbaev, President of Kazakhstan (1993-1996, 2008-2012), I.Karimov, President of Uzbekistan (997-1999), S.Niyazov, President of Turkmenistan (1999-2001), and E.Rakhmov, the President of Tajikistan (2002-2008). Since August 2012, the presidency of the Fund has been passed to Uzbekistan.
The IFAS Board consists of five members - Deputy Prime-Ministers; the Review Committee - of representatives at the level of Deputy Ministry of Finance; the Executive Committee - Chairman and per two representatives from each state-founder. The IFAS Executive Committee has branches in Almaty, Bishkek, Dushanbe, Dashowuz, Tashkent, and Nukus.
The IFAS also includes:
The Interstate Commission for Water Coordination (ICWC) with its bodies (Secretariat, Scientific-Information Center, BWO Amudarya, and BWO Syrdarya);
The Interstate Commission for Sustainable Development (ICSD) with its bodies (Secretariat, Scientific-Information Center in Ashgabad).
The fees of the state-founders were set according to the decision of the heads of the Central Asian states of 28th February 1997 (Almaty).
The ASBP projects implementation agency of IFAS was established upon initiative of the Republic of Uzbekistan in May 1998.
The agency has the status of international institution. It provides management and implementation of projects under the Aral Sea Basin Program (ASBP), works with republican organizations to agree upon, make expertise, and approve ASBP projects and their financing, and coordinates project implementation by the Nukus branch of the IFAS Executive Committee. The agency is to engage international organizations, donor countries, and the general public in solution of the Aral Sea basin problems.
During 1998-2003, the agency implemented the GEF Project “Water Resources and Environmental Management in the Aral Sea Basin”, accumulated rich information and data bases on regional and national water resources in the Central Asian countries.
In addition, the Agency implements a range of projects at the republican level at the expense of Uzbekistan’s fees to IFAS.
In October 2008, the UN General Assembly granted IFAS the observer status.