Central Asian Countries Back Water Quality Plan
21 May 2012 - 00:00 by OOSKAnews Correspondent
Kazakhstan, ALMATY — Representatives of five Central Asian countries this month agreed to support the first comprehensive cooperation plan on water quality in the region.
The Development of Regional Cooperation to Ensure Water Quality in Central Asia has three main features: information exchange and harmonization of national policies on water quality; cooperation on water quality monitoring and data exchange; and establishment of a regional expert body.
It was approved by 12 authorities in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. The next step is to secure the support of regional cooperation organizations.
The plan is built on the principles of the UN Economic Commission for Europe’s (UNECE) Convention on the Protection and Use of Trans-Boundary Watercourses and International Lakes and its Protocol on Water and Health, as well as the EU Water Framework Directive.
These are “important international frameworks guiding the national as well as trans-boundary developments in this field,” UNECE said.
Central Asian countries depend on each other when it comes to the water resources of trans-boundary rivers, lakes and groundwater, and “water quality is an important aspect of integrated water resources management that needs further efforts on the national as well as regional levels,” UNECE emphasized.
UNECE is one of the agencies implementing the Water Quality in Central Asia Project, launched in 2009, of which the new regional plan is part. The Regional Environmental Center for Central Asiais also working on the project, which is funded by the UN Development Account.