Environmental organizations discussed prospects of water action for climate resilience
The Green Alliance, with support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the European Union, hosted a side event in Bishkek as part of the global UN Water Conference to create the political momentum to mobilize water action. The event, titled “Water resources in Central Asia: challenges and prospects,” brought together stakeholders to discuss the sustainability of management of water and sanitation for all, as well as prospects for cooperation in the region.
The platform was initiated by civil society and includes professionals from government bodies, parliament, civil society organizations, youth and women organizations, and international organizations. The goal of the platform is to provide an independent forum for experts to share knowledge and experience and provide possible solutions to decision-makers.
Director of the Green Alliance KG, Ilgiz Kambarov, emphasized the importance of addressing water issues, stating that “Water has become one of the most vital issues to be addressed in the nearest future. We are starting the conversation today as a platform to discuss challenges and solutions on a regular basis. We hope to sustain it as an independent forum in the future.”
The conference also highlighted the impact of climate change on water resources in Kyrgyzstan and Central Asia, particularly the reduction in glaciers, which affects the region’s socio-economic development, energy and food production, and ecosystem health. The growing demand for water and unreliable supply was also discussed, which increases pressure on existing water management mechanisms and can complicate political relations, especially in transboundary basins.
Global water consumption is projected to increase by 20-30% by 2050, and the world’s population is expected to reach 9 billion by 2050. Against this backdrop, water is becoming an increasingly important issue for social cohesion, as it is essential for food security, energy production, and ecosystem health.
Ms. Louise Chamberlain, Resident Representative at UNDP in the Kyrgyz Republic said: “Climate change is putting precious water resources under extreme stress. There is a need to explicitly integrate governance mechanisms for water resources into country development policies and investment plans, with a view to strengthen water-saving measures and improve fair and equitable distribution of water resources and other integrated water resources management measures into local development plans” (read the full speech here).
The UN Water Conference to be held 22-24 March at UN Headquarters in New York is an opportunity to re-set the trajectory and speed up the plan for progress for the next seven years—toward 2030 to result in a bold Water Action Agenda. The UN Water Conference aims to accelerate and coordinate global multi-sectoral progress on water akin to how the 1.5-degree Celsius commitment of the 2015 Paris Agreement did for climate action.
The established national forum in Kyrgyzstan is designed to continue the post-conference water action momentum into the future and collect the water-related commitments.
From the EU perspective, the existence of a relevant and credible national or sector strategy, policies, and/or reforms is a fundamental requisite for any initiative aimed at improving governance and service delivery. “Currently, we are considering the possibility to submit to HQ a request for a Budget Support Sector Reform Performance Contract. It would focus on water-related policies and reforms and the implementation of a few SDGs. It would also support our partner country’s efforts to ensure inclusive access to quality public services, promote women’s and children’s rights, and create the conditions for sustainable growth at the sector level,” said Stefano Corrado, Programme Manager at the European Delegation in Kyrgyzstan.
The Public Foundation “Open Innovations”, a member of Green Alliance KG, received official accreditation on September 9, 2022, to participate in the UN Water Conference on March 22-24, 2023 New York, USA, and hold an official side event outside the headquarters – UN apartments on January 25, 2023, on the topic: “Water resources in Central Asia: challenges and prospects”.
The “Climate Change and Resilience in Central Asia” regional project funded by the European Union is being implemented with a focus on the improvement of the knowledge of climate-fragility risks amongst stakeholders at local, national, and regional levels; facilitation of risk-informed policymaking and resource management, and supporting practical risk reduction interventions.
UNDP is the UN’s global development network, an organization advocating for change and connecting countries to knowledge, experience, and resources to help people build a better life. We are on the ground in some 170 countries and territories, working with them on their solutions to global and national development challenges. As they develop local capacity, they draw on the people of UNDP and our wide range of partners.