Central Asia environment
In Central Asia, the environment and water availability are key strategic issues. To target them, the European Commission designed for the period 2008 - 2013 two Regional Environmental Programmes.
According to the multiannual indicative programme 2007-2010 for Central Asia, the overall budget earmarked for the Environment is €16,2 million among which €13.2 are allocated for the two environmental programmes, called Central Asia Environment. The remaining 3 millions are pooled in the Central Asia Investment Facility (CAIF) 2009, which covers Energy and Environment as initial priority focus
What is the Central Asia Regional Environment Programme 2008?
The First Regional Environmental Programme for Central Asia, which will run for the 2009-2012 period, is focused on water. It consists of the following two projects:
- Sustainable Use and Management of the Transboundary Aquifers in Central Asia - SUMTACA (€2 million Euro): the project aims towards the development of joint measures at the sustainable use and management of transboundary aquifers in Central Asia. The objective of the project is to contribute to poverty alleviation and socio-economic development in the beneficiary countries by facilitating sound water management policies.
- Integrating Aquifers into the Conjunctive Use of Water Resources in the Fergana Valley for Improved Integrated Water and Land Resources Management (€2 million Euro): the project aims towards the development of strategic plans for the Fergana Valley at integrating transboundary aquifers from Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan in the overall use of water resources. The objective of the project will be to improve water and land management and protect the livelihoods of local communities.
The priority themes funded by the Central Asia Environmental programmes for water related projects are discussed by EU and Central Asian States within the EU-Central Asia Joint Working Group created in the framework of the worldwide EU Water Initiative (EUWI). The EUWI aims to achieve water related Millennium Development Goals in development countries (the MDG 7, adopted by the UN and to be achieved by 2015, aims at halving the proportion of the population without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation).
The Joint Working Group met three times, in Almaty (2007), Bishkek (2008) and Ashgabat (December 2008). At the last meeting, a platform for dialogue and cooperation in the field of environment in Central Asia was formally launched.
What is EURECA 2009- Regional Environment Programme for Central Asia?
The Commission is already completing the formulation phase of the Second Central Asia Regional Environmental Programme, named EURECA 2009, which is planned to run for the period 2010-2013. The Commission Decision on this programme is expected for end 2009.
The EURECA 2009 programme will focus on regional cooperation and partnership development with Europe and will reach its specific objectives through supporting the following four main components:
- the development of the Environment and Water Cooperation Platform aiming at facilitating closer regional cooperation both with Central Asia and between Central Asia and the EU;
- the sustainable use and management of natural resources in Central Asia, by tackling issues such as climate change, forest governance (the FLEGT process) and environmental data collection, exchange, monitoring and assessment;
- the Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM), and particularly trans-boundary river basin management through the development of networks and the sharing of best practices between Central Asian and European water management and basin organisations;
- the environmental awareness raising in the region by enhancing regional cooperation and partnership with Europe regarding environmental awareness on the most problematic environmental areas in Central Asia.
Where can I find more information?
For any further questions concerning the programme, please send an email to the project manager:
• Jelena SEMJONOVA for the 2008 programme
• Xavier DERREY for EURECA 2009