The EU is committed to helping Central Asia protect its environment. The EU’s Regional Strategy Paper for assistance to Central Asia (2007-13) identifies the environment as a priority. Two EU-funded programmes, ‘Promoting Integrated Water Resources Management and Fostering Transboundary Dialogue in Central Asia’ and the ‘Regional Environmental Programme for Central Asia’ (EURECA) are strengthening regional cooperation in the sector.
The €1.5 million (2009-12) project supports the sustainable and efficient management of water resources in the region and is enhancing cooperation between Central Asian states on water management-related issues at both a national level (mainly Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan), and trans-boundary level (mainly Kazakhstan). Experiences and successes shared between countries improve integrated water resources management region-wide.
Regional environment programme for Central Asia (EURECA)
The €9.2 million EURECA programme (2012-15) is strengthening regional cooperation and partnership with the EU in the fields of integrated water resource management, forest and biodiversity governance – including environmental monitoring and environmental awareness-raising – as well as improving coordination on environmental issues region-wide through the EU-Central Asia Environment and Water Cooperation Platform. It is a four-part programme:
- An environment and water cooperation platform for dialogue.
- EU support for the sustainable use and management of natural resources in Central Asia in the areas of climate change, forest governance (Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade – FLEGT), ecological recovery and environmental data collection, exchange, monitoring and assessment.
- A partnership on integrated water resources management water management to share best practice on water management between Central Asian and European water management bodies, basin organisations and help train professionals.
- Environmental awareness-raising on Central Asia’s most problematic environmental issues.