December 13, 2023, Astana, Kazakhstan

The latest session of the Regional Working Group on Water Quality (RWG-WQ) was conducted by the Regional Environmental Center for Central Asia as part of the Blue Peace Central Asia initiative by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), in Astana, Kazakhstan. The aim of this event was to facilitate a comprehensive dialogue among countries on water quality management in Central Asia.

Opening the session with a welcoming address from the hosting country – the Republic of Kazakhstan, Ms. Natalya Dauletyarova, Deputy Director of the Department of Ecology and Natural Resources of the Republic of Kazakhstan, expressed gratitude to the Regional Environmental Center for Central Asia (CAREC) for their longstanding collaboration and support of RWG-WQ activities since 2009.

Ms. Nadine Fragnière, Climate and Water Advisor at SDC, highlighted the importance of regular meetings to strengthen regional cooperation and affirmed Switzerland’s commitment to supporting them in the second phase of the Blue Peace CA Initiative.

Ms. Lyudmila Kiktenko, Program Manager for Environmental Management, on behalf of the Executive Director of CAREC, welcomed meeting participants and emphasized the crucial role of this regional platform in enhancing mutual information sharing among countries on the progress of national legislations related to water management and monitoring water quality. She also stressed the platform’s significance in coordinating water quality projects in the region.

Key presentations on innovations in environmental policies of each republic and progress in bilateral cooperation were delivered by leading officials responsible for environmental protection. Experts shared information about institutional reorganizations and the establishment of a new environmental ministry (Uzbekistan), the development of water and environmental codes (Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan), the implementation of water reforms (Tajikistan), the adoption of new strategies and programs (Kyrgyzstan) related to water quality issues, as well as progress in addressing wastewater problems (Turkmenistan).

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