The EU is committed to helping Central Asia protect its environment. The "European Commission’s Regional Strategy Paper for assistance to Central Asia (2007-2013)" [276 KB] has identified the environment as a sector of major importance. For this purpose, the European Commission is currently funding the "Promoting IWRM and Fostering Transboundary Dialogue in Central Asia" project and the "Regional Environmental Programme for Central Asia" (EURECA).
Promoting Integrated Water Resources Management and Fostering Transboundary Dialogue in Central Asia
The project "Promoting IWRM and Fostering Transboundary Dialogue in Central Asia" (2009-2012) with budget of € 1.5 million, aims to support more sustainable and efficient management of water resources in the region as well as to enhance cooperation between the states on water management-related issues through interventions at the national level (mainly Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan), and at the transboundary level (mainly Kazakhstan).
This project builds upon earlier initiatives in the partner countries, leveraging successful projects and experiences to further advance the principles of Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM).
Regional Environment Programme for Central Asia (EURECA)
The Commission has recently launched the EURECA Programme with total budget of € 9.2 million that will run for the period 2012-2015.
The overall objective of the Programme is to promote the stability and security of the countries of Central Asia, to assist them in their pursuit of sustainable economic development and poverty reduction and to facilitate closer regional cooperation both within Central Asia and between Central Asia and the EU.
The specific objectives of the action are to enhance regional cooperation and partnership with Europe in the fields of integrated water resource management, forest and biodiversity governance - including environmental monitoring - and environmental awareness raising, supported by strengthened mechanisms of coordination on environmental issues provided by the EU-Central Asia Environment and Water Cooperation Platform. The specific objectives are to be reached through the four components below:
Component (1) – Regional coordination and support for the EU-Central Asia enhanced regional cooperation on Environment and Water: WECOOP
- Supporting the development of the Environment and Water Cooperation Platform by facilitating closer regional cooperation both within Central Asia and between Central Asia and the EU.
Component (2) – Forest and biodiversity governance, including environmental monitoring: FLERMONECA
- Supporting the sustainable use and management of natural resources in Central Asia by tackling issues such as climate change, forest governance (the FLEG process), ecological restoration and environmental data collection, exchange, monitoring and assessment.
Component (3) – Partnership of water management and basin organizations in Central Asia: WMBOCA
- Supporting Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) and particularly trans-boundary river basin management through the development of networks, sharing of best practices between Central Asian and European water management, basin organizations and the training of professionals.
Component (4) – Environmental awareness raising: AWARE
- Supporting environmental awareness in the region and enhancing regional cooperation and partnership with Europe regarding environmental awareness on the most problematic environmental areas in Central Asia.