INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE “FINANCIAL AND INVESTMENT SUPPORT OF MEASURES FOR RATIONAL WATER USE”
The International Conference “Financial and investment support of measures for rational water use” was held in Ashkhabad on 20 June. The Conference brought together representatives of sectoral agencies all over the Central Asia.
This forum became a platform for discussion of urgent issues of water saving in the context of arid climate in Central Asia. World-class experts addressed water financing in the region from the perspective of rational water use under conditions of changing climate, as well as regional cooperation on implementation of the UNESCAP resolution on consideration of the modalities for the establishment of the United Nations special program for the Aral Sea basin.
Durdy Genjiyev, Chairman of the Turkmen Committee for Water Management, Sulton Rakhimzoda, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the International Fund for saving the Aral Sea (IFAS), Dinara Ziganshina, Director of SIC ICWC, Mukhammed Durikov, Director of SIC ICWC, Zafar Makhmudov, Director of the Regional Environmental Center for Central Asia and other participants shared their views and proposals on consolidated solutions of the above issues.
Dinara Ziganshina stressed that is was necessary to make the water sector more attractive for both domestic and external investments. Currently, the water sector in the Central Asian countries is financed mainly through state budgets that cover only 40-80% of the actual needs. Research and design institutes operating in this area are underfinanced. EDB estimates the priority investment needs in water and energy sectors at about US$ 8.7billion by 2030 but the actual needs seem to be well higher. Therefore new forms of financing such as public-private partnerships and their appropriate application become more important. Expert research and joint work of the countries on financing and rational water use are among priority tasks for achieving water security in Central Asia.
Sherzod Muminov, Deputy Director of SIC ICWC made a presentation on “Financial and investment support of water-energy nexus coordination in Central Asia: history, state-of-affairs and world best practices”. In this presentation he presented SIC’s activities implemented jointly with OECD within the framework of the Expert Platform on Water Security, Sustainable Development and Future Studies, in particular, the development of potential options of financial and investment support of water and energy cooperation in Central Asia.
The participants also discussed joint strategies focusing on water management in the context of climate change in Central Asia. They paid particular attention to harmonization of environmental, social and economic aspects of integrated water resources management.
The final conference document containing key conclusions and recommendations will be disseminated among the participants to promote sustainable water management and regional cooperation in Central Asia.
Thus, this Conference has really become a platform for sharing knowledge, lessons and best practices among stakeholders.