NAS Meeting: academic and scientific-practical opportunities for universities in Central Asia are presented

Central Asia – Today, members of the Central Asian Network of Academic Societies (NAS) gathered online to discuss the development of the network and opportunities for cooperation between universities in the region. The meeting was organized by the USAID Central Asia’s Regional Water and Vulnerable Environment Activity in cooperation with the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the Regional Environmental Centre for Central Asia (CAREC).

44 representatives of leading universities and research institutes in Central Asia, as well as international and regional organizations discussed the current state and plans for the development of the NAS and the Community of Practice platform. Since the last meeting, 40 new users have joined the platform. In addition to educational materials, publications, videos, podcasts, the platform now provides links to scientific journals in the region and announcements of grants, internships, scholarships and vacancies in the field of water resources.

The issue of formalizing the NAS for sustainable development and improving operational efficiency was also on the agenda. Thus, the participants of the meeting finalized and approved the final version of the Regulations on membership in the NAS. The development of academic cooperation at the regional level is a key goal of all NAS participants. This, in their opinion, can become a powerful impetus to develop the scientific consciousness in the field of the environment and train qualified specialists.

“Switzerland believes in the power of education. Through our Blue Peace Central Asia initiative, we  follow a long-term strategy to strengthening academia in integrated water resources management (IWRM) and water diplomacy in Central Asia for water specialists, researchers, and  future leaders. The support to the Network of Academic Society (NAS) is key and founded in Switzerland’s vision of a regional  dialogue that is based on science, evidence and research,” said Lisa Gampp, Regional Adviser on Water and Climate Change in Central Asia, Swiss Agency for Cooperation and Development (SDC).

The meeting was also devoted to the development of cooperation between the universities of the region with research institutes in order to train personnel. The representative of the Kazakhstan Institute for Strategic Studies under the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan (KazISS) shared about internship opportunities for students and grant programs to support young experts.

“We offer universities in Kazakhstan the opportunity to train their students at the KazISS with consideration of subsequent employment. This contributes not only to practical experience and improvement of professional skills, but also to the training of highly qualified personnel in the field of the environment,” noted Assel Nazarbetova, Head of the KISI representative office in Almaty.

Among the above-mentioned possibilities, it should also be emphasized the possibilities within the framework of the European Union (EU) Erasmus project and the project “Climate-Resilient Water Resources Management in Central Asia” of the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ). Thus, within the framework of the GIZ project, it is planned to involve NAS members in the development of IWRM training materials intended for basin organizations. The training modules will include climate risk assessments for the basins of the countries of the region and take into account gender aspects in water resources management.

Brief reference

The Central Asian Network of Academic Society (NAS) promotes interaction and knowledge exchange between representatives of educational institutions involved in the management of environment, water, land and energy resources in the context of climate change. NAS has been operating since 2013 with the support of development partners such as the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Swiss Agency for Development (SDC), the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ), the European Union (EU), the World Bank (WB), on the platform of the Regional Environmental Centre for Central Asia.

In addition to regular regional meetings, the NAS is supported by the Community of Practice platform, which is a communication and outreach platform for bringing together representatives of educational institutions, research institutions, government agencies, international organizations, youth and other stakeholders. The platform was created in 2022 by USAID WAVE in collaboration with CAREC on the basis of the Eurasian River Basin Portal (

Additional information: Ludmila Kiktenko, Environmental Management Programme’s Manager, CAREC,

#CoPP #USAID #WAVE #CAREC #CommunityOfPractice #NAS

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