CAWSCI/Processes and Initiatives

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edit Central Asia Water Sector Coordination Initiative (CAWSCI)
Processes | Projects | Partners

Participating partners to date:

Other potential partners and supporters (tbc): UNEP/GRID Arendal | Romania (EUWI-EECCA WG chair) | Italy | Finland | Open Society Institute | .. (additional partners continuously joining)
In Support of Governments and People of Kazakhstan | Kyrgyzstan | Tajikistan |Turkmenistan | Uzbekistan
The "Central Asia Water Sector Coordination Initiative (CAWSCI)" is aimed at facilitating a shared vision and aligned approaches among water sector partners. As such, this document is "a living document", reflecting work in progress and will be continuously updated by the Participating Partners. Certain elements of it are under development or revision, and will change in line with emerging issues, concrete processes, and activities.
All interested organizations are warmly welcome to actively participate in this process.

The goal of the Central Asia Water Sector Coordination Initiative is to map activities of the various international and regional partners involved in the water sector in Central Asia. The aim is to support information exchange and thus facilitate coordination amongst partners, projects and processes, by continuously identifying and describing:

Towards a Common Framework for Addressing Water Issues
In order to promote better alignment of (complementary) action in the water sector in Central Asia, the intended impact of the CAWSCI is to promote - and support - the creation of synergies amongst the various actors and their interventions, and to help avoid overlap or duplication through better coordination amongst participating partners of this initiative.

The long-term vision is a synchronized water sector with complementary interventions ultimately adding value for the beneficiary countries and populations, with jointly defined scopes, work divisions, and roles and responsibilities among the international and regional actors, as well as concrete collaboration in selected projects, processes or initiatives.

Contents

EUWI–EECCA Working Group

Nature and Scope

[TO BE FILLED]

Structure, Roles and Responsibilities

TO BE FILLED

Preparations and next steps

  • Bishkek WG Meeting (Jan 08): Kick-off for the Kyrgyz NPD;
  • Ashgabat WG Meeting (04 Dec 08):

The Kyrgyzstan EUWI National Policy Dialogue (NPD)

Nature and Scope

On 14 June 2007, Kyrgyzstan has submitted an official request for a National Policy Dialogue related to IWRM issues, and in February 2007 Kyrgyz delegates who attended the tenth meeting of the EAP Task Force Environmental Finance Network in EECCA, expressed their interest in conducting an NPD on the financing of WSS . For both NPDs, Kyrgyzstan has requested UNDP to act as strategic partner. The specific objectives of the national policy dialogue process have still to be drawn up and agreed upon.

Structure, Roles and Responsibilities

(See graph 2 – elements marked in red)

Linking Processes and Processes

The NPD in Kyrgyzstan will consist of three main components:

  1. A UNECE-led NPD on Integrated Water Resources Management in Kyrgyzstan, linked to other water-related projects, particularly the protection of water resources and ecosystems in the Chu-Talas basins;
  2. An OECD/EAP Task Force-led NPD on Financing Urban and Rural WSS
  3. A UNDP-led Kyrgyz component of the Regional project “National IWRM Planning and Transboundary Dialogue in Central Asia (Kyrgyzstan-Tajikistan), linked to the Tajik component, as well as a UNDP Kazakhstan-led component focusing on Ili-Balkash, as well as to the UNDP Uzbekistan IWRM project

Components 1 and 2 and all activities under the Kyrgyz NPD will be overseen and steered by individual Steering Groups, which will be reporting to the National Water Council. Component 3, the UNDP Kyrgyz project component will be reporting to the regional project steering committee, which will be closely linked to the National Water Council. UNDP will support and facilitate the work of the National Water Council.

Preparations and next steps

  • Conduct a mission of representatives of the European Commission, the Technical Secretariat of the EUWI Working Group for EECCA, UNECE, OECD/EAP Task Force, UNDP and Romania (as current Chair of the EUWI EECCA Working Group) in early 2008;
  • Define during this mission together with Kyrgyzstan the overall and specific objectives of the NPD;
  • Draw up a “Common Understanding of the Ministry of [to be specified during the above mentioned mission] of Kyrgyzstan and the European Commission, UNDP, UNECE and OECD on a National Policy Dialogue on water-related issues in Kyrgyzstan”;
  • Establish the National Steering Committee (aligned with the National Water Council) with representatives of relevant major groups to be involved in the NPD process, including representatives of national/local governmental authorities and NGOs.

Joint IWRM Capacity Building Programme

Nature and Scope

UNDP and SDC have decided to align their planned activities and engage into a joint programme for capacity building on IWRM and related themes in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, and possibly other Central Asia countries as well. UNDP has furthermore started discussion with EC (AIDCO) towards organization of a joint workshop around the topic of Sector-Wide Approaches (SWAP) in the water sector.

Structure, Roles and Responsibilities

The basic idea is to align the Swiss and UNDP IWRM projects, with the aim to organize joint trainings and other capacity building activities in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. Cost- and work-split will be decided from case to case. Other partners are welcome to join this effort, as to make best use of available financial means, and to reach as broad of an audience as possible.

Preparations and next steps

Global Water Partnership (GWP) Central Asia has been invited to lead the process of developing a roadmap, and Cap-Net promised its support for this.

The Turkmenistan EUWI National Policy Dialogue

[To be drafted at a later stage, as applicable]

Nature and Scope

[TO BE FILLED]

Structure, Roles and Responsibilities

[TO BE FILLED]

Preparations and next steps

[TO BE FILLED]

The German “Water Unites” Initiative

Nature and Scope

At the Conference “Water Unites - New Prospects for Cooperation and Security” in Berlin on 1 April 2008, the German Foreign Minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, announced a Central Asian water initiative. The initiative’s objective is to increase the regional cooperation in the Central Asian Water sector. The so-called "Berlin Process" is open to all stakeholders and is to be seen as an integral part of the EU’s Central Asia Strategy.

Structure, Roles and Responsibilities

The German Water Initiative encloses three major projects which are steered and funded by the German Foreign Office and implemented by various organisations. The first programme on Transboundary Water Management in Central Asia is implemented by the GTZ and it is structured into three components:

  1. Strengthening of the regional dialogue and cooperation on transboundary water management;
  2. River basin approach for selected transboundary rivers; and
  3. National fast-track projects on integrated water management.

The first two components will be implemented in close cooperation with the EU Commission and UNECE.

The second project "Regional Research Network Water in Central Asia (CAWa)" is focussing on the establishment of a regional information system providing a reliable data basis on the water sector. This information system will support information and data needed for transboundary water management decisions. The project is carried out by the German Research Center for Geosciences in Potsdam, the German Aerospace Centre and the Central Asian Institute for Applied Geosciences in cooperation with partners from Germany and Central Asia.

A third project will set up a new course for water issues at the German-Kazakh-University in Almaty, which will be open for students from all Central Asian countries. The first students will be able to enrol in this course in the 2009/2010 academic year.

Preparations and next steps

Expert mission of all projects have been carried out in 2008 in the region with the aim of agreeing on the content and parameters of the programme concept in consultation with all participating institutions and interest groups. The experts have been meeting with ministries and institutions responsible for the water sector in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. The GFZ and DLR plan to install additional modern water sensors in Central Asia to fill the gaps in the region’s existing data network. The joint Central Asian – German Water Programme was presented and discussed at the follow-up conference to Berlin, hosted by UNECE, at Almaty, November 2008.

Central Asian Regional Risk Assessment (CARRA)

Even the most advanced countries face environmental and water-related risks to be managed. This is apparent inter alia in the United States of America, where New Orleans is still recovering from Hurricane Katrina. Central Asia, which is particularly vulnerable to food, water, and energy insecurities, is now exception. Tajikistan experienced a “compound crisis” during the winter of 2007-2008, as the exceptionally cold weather across Central Asia caused breakdowns in the country’s energy infrastructure, and reduced winter crop yields and livestock herds. Slower economic growth and significantly higher food prices resulted—which were subsequently exacerbated by global food price trends and by drought conditions during spring-summer 2008. In order to ensure that generation capacity at the Nurek hydro power station would be sufficient to get the country through the winter of 2008-2009, the government has been limiting energy deliveries to households and businesses since 1 September. Similar electricity shortages are being reported in Kyrgyzstan as well, where water levels in the Toktogul reservoir (indeed, all throughout the Syr Darya Basin) in 2008 have been well below historical averages. These developments could further exacerbate Central Asia’s perennial water tensions, while also raising fresh concerns across about inflation, food security, poverty, and malnutrition.

Nature and Scope

The Central Asian Regional Risk Assessment (CA RRA) is an effort by the international community to proactively help Central Asia’s governments to better manage these humanitarian and development risks, and to alleviate their negative impact on vulnerable regions and social groups. The assessment, which is to be presented in early November 2008, will address risks to be managed in the following specific areas:

  • Trends in prices for foodstuffs, agricultural inputs, fuels, electricity, and water usage, as well as for overall consumer and producer price inflation;
  • Fossil fuel stocks and prices, for power generation;
  • Extent of electricity, water, and food rationing and food price controls (if and when such are applied);
  • The availability of water resources for hydropower generation during the winter of 2008-2009, and possible implications for irrigated water supplies during the 2009 harvest seasons;
  • Physical infrastructure, particularly as concerns storage capacity (for fuels, seeds, and other agricultural inputs), storage and transport logistics, and efforts to repair energy and water infrastructure damaged by the 2008 winter frosts (particularly in Tajikistan);
  • Seed availability for the 2009 winter and summer harvests;
  • Social safety nets broadly defined, regarding the ability of government social policies to target and protect those regions and social groups most affected by food, energy, and water insecurity; and
  • Cross-border transfer of agricultural inputs and products.

The assessment is a(n):

  1. Mapping exercise: examining the relevant documentation pertaining to lessons learned—both in terms of government policy responses and humanitarian/development responses by the international community—from Tajikistan’s 2008 compound crisis, and from the Central Asian drought of 2000-2001;
  2. Consultative exercise: benefitting from the participation of key UN agencies, other bilateral and multilateral development partners, and regional institutions engaged in humanitarian and crisis prevention programming in Central Asia — with a particular focus on the ongoing assessments being conducted within the framework of the UN’s inter-agency task force (i.e., UNDP’s Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery, UNHCR, UNICEF, OCHA, WHO and WFP);
  3. Analytical exercise: developing a detailed understanding of gaps in emergency and development responses and possible national and regional measures to be undertaken by governments and the international community in order to alleviate the negative impact on the most vulnerable segments of the population (particularly in terms of the governments’ preparations for winter); and
  4. Integrative exercise: seeking to align the above with the most recent information and analyses concerning regional meteorological, hydrological, and socio-economic conditions and trends. Where appropriate, it will also seek to align short-term humanitarian with longer-term development interventions.

Structure, Roles and Responsibilities

The CA RRA will have a regional character, reflecting the common property nature of the region’s water resources and the cross-border linkages apparent in their management. However, the bulk of the assessment will be concentrated in Central Asia’s most vulnerable countries: Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.

Work on the CA RRA is being led by UNDP’s Bratislava Regional Centre, in close cooperation with UN Country Teams in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, and with the UN’s Office for the Coordination Humanitarian Affairs. This work is supported financially by DFID and USAID, and draws in the intellectual resources of the World Bank’s Central Asian team, as well as other leading Central Asian specialists.

Preparations and next steps

The report, which is to be released in November, will provide: (1) a real time assessment of the threats to water, energy, and food security in Central Asia; and (2) concrete suggestions to help governments and the international community to better manage these risks, as well as the nexus of development and humanitarian programming in these areas.

Central Asia Development Marketplace 2009 (CA DM 2009)

Development partners and others need to urgently tackle the issue of severe water shortages in countries of Central Asia. One way of doing so is through a Regional Development Marketplace. The goal of the Central Asia Regional Development Marketplace is to identify and fund innovative ideas to help farmers conserve or use water more efficiently. The Development Marketplace will invite proposals from all Central Asian countries (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan) under the theme “Efficient Water Use for Agriculture.” In this regard, the World Bank would like to propose to have Development Marketplace 2009 in Central Asia (timeline: December 2008 – May 2009).

Nature and Scope

The proposed Central Asia Development Marketplace 2009 (CA DM 2009) is a sub-regional replica of the global Development Marketplace program (www.developmentmarketplace.org), a World Bank initiative organized annually to create a marketplace of innovative ideas and development solutions. It provides seed money for implementation of innovative new ideas or application of best practice and creates a forum for knowledge sharing and networking.

Structure, Roles and Responsibilities

The CA DM 2009 will identify and fund innovative initiatives and projects that would have positive impact on water use and management by farmers. Proposals will be solicited from a wide variety of key stakeholders including farmers’ groups/associations, civil society organizations, social entrepreneurs, academia and others. Successful applicants will be awarded with grants during a ceremony in one of the Central Asian cities. In addition to providing funding for winning projects, CA DM 2009 will serve as a platform for stimulating public debate about the importance of efficient water use in Central Asian countries, and will create a forum for demonstrating possible solutions to solve water related problems in Central Asia.

Preparations and next steps

Since many different development organizations are working in Central Asia to address the issue of inefficient water use, the World Bank is inviting partners to cooperate within the CA DM 2009 initiative and will be happy to discuss any possible forms of participation. The World Bank CA DM 2009 team has secured initial funding for the award pool and administrative costs, but additional financial or in-kind contributions from partners would be highly valued as they would help make the initiative more meaningful and sustainable. Partners could directly fund the awards pool (e.g. a contribution of US$150,000 would go directly to fund five winning proposals), support the monitoring and evaluation of the winning DM projects, provide in-kind services (e.g. transportation, accommodation, printing, media, etc.)

Additional Information

The Common Framework for Addressing Water Issues in Central Asia

The Common Framework for Addressing Water Issues in Central Asia/Objectives and Priority Outcome Areas

The Common Framework for Addressing Water Issues in Central Asia/Common Strategic Approaches

The Common Framework for Addressing Water Issues in Central Asia/Programmes, Projects and Interventions

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