Today Astana hosted a Regional Workshop “International experience related to transboundary water allocation and prospects for the development of cooperation on the joint use of water resources in Central Asia”, where general approaches to the application of international experience in transboundary water allocation and development of cooperation on the joint use of water resources in Central Asia were discussed.

On October 19, 2022, the thirteenth meeting of the Task Force on Water and Climate, organized by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, took place in Geneva, Switzerland.

On October 17-18, 2022, a global workshop on water, agriculture and climate change was held in Geneva, Switzerland. The meeting is organized under the auspices of the UNECE-served Water Convention, led by the Netherlands and Switzerland, in cooperation with the Adaptation Fund, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the International Network of Basin Organizations (INBO) and the International Water Management Institute (IWMI).

On November 2-3, 2022, Astana will host a Regional workshop “International experience related to transboundary water allocation and prospects for the development of cooperation on the joint use of water resources in Central Asia”.

BRATISLAVA, September 27, 2022 –Today, the 2nd International Training Workshop on the Safety of Hydraulic Structures in Central Asia began its work under the auspices of the Minister of the Environment of the Slovak Republic Ján Budaj in Bratislava, Slovakia.

Hydraulic structures are the most significant components of the economies of Central Asian countries. Their sustainable management, operation and maintenance are important for regional stability and economic development of countries. In this regard, the issues of ensuring the safety of structures and preventing the risks of accidents are a priority for countries of the region.

Many hydraulic structures in Central Asia are located on transboundary rivers, which predetermines the need for coordinated work to improve their technical condition and increase their safety. The current level of hazard of hydraulic structures in the region requires the application of clear safety concepts, the introduction of advanced monitoring and early warning methods, as well as an increase in the institutional capacity of the operating structures.

The international workshop aims to assist in the study of best practices in the management of hydraulic structures, exchange of knowledge and experience in ensuring safety, and improvement of cooperation in water management in Central Asia.

The workshop is organized by the International Water Assessment Centre in cooperation with the Government of Slovakia and supported by the World Bank under the Central Asia Water and Energy Program (CAWEP), Slovak Aid and Vodohospodarska vystavba, s.o.e.

The workshop is attended by 35 participants, including civil servants, technical specialists and experts from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Slovakia, as well as representatives of international organizations and regional structures.

At the workshop participants will have the opportunity to study European experience in water management on the example of Slovakia. Based on its results, proposals will be developed for further cooperation in the management of water resources and the safety of hydraulic structures in Central Asia.

This workshop is part of the activities organized jointly by the World Bank and the International Water Assessment Centre (IWAC) on the safety of hydraulic structures in Central Asia, and carried out within the framework of the Central Asia Water and Energy Program (CAWEP). The Central Asia Water and Energy Program (CAWEP) is a partnership between the World Bank, the European Union, Switzerland and the United Kingdom to strengthen the enabling environment to promote water and energy security at the regional level and in the beneficiary countries.

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On September 27-29, 2022, International Training workshop on the Safety of Hydraulic Structures in Central Asia will be held in Bratislava, Slovakia. It will be organized by the International Water Assessment Centre (IWAC) with the support of the Government of Slovakia and financial support of the World Bank.

On June 28-29, 2022, the Fourth Joint Meeting of the Working Groupы on Integrated Water Resources Management and Monitoring and Assessment, dedicated to the celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes (Convention on Transboundary waters) was held in Tallinn, Estonia30.

A regional workshop on ensuring equitable access to water and sanitation was held from 13 to 14 June 2022 in Geneva, Switzerland on the topic “New policy developments, impacts of COVID-19, and options for affordability”. The workshop was organized under the leadership of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe under the joint secretariat of the Protocol on Water and Health to the Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes in cooperation with the lead Parties, France and Hungary.

On June 6-9, 2022, the Government of Tajikistan, in cooperation with the United Nations and other partners, held the Second High-Level International Conference in the framework of the International Decade for Action "Water for Sustainable Development", 2018-2028 titled “Strengthening Action and Expanding Partnerships to Address Water Issues at the Local, National, Regional and Global Levels”. The conference was held in a mixed format, in Dushanbe (offline) and online.

From 19 to 20 May 2022, Geneva hosted the thirteenth meeting of the Working Group on Water and Health, organized by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe (WHO/Europe).

The purpose of the meeting was to review progress in the implementation of the programme of work for 2020-2022 under the Protocol on Water and Health to the Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes, and to discuss the draft programme of work for the next triennium.

Members of the Working Group, representatives of interested state bodies responsible for health and water resources, and international organizations were invited to participate in the meeting.

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Secretary of the Water Convention

The meeting addressed issues such as progress in the ratification process for the Protocol, improving water and health governance: supporting target setting and implementation of related measures, building resilience to climate change, equitable access to water supply and sanitation, prevention and reduction of water-related diseases.

On the progress of ratification of the Protocol, representatives of three countries have spoken: Italy, North Macedonia and Kazakhstan. Information on the process of Kazakhstan's accession to the Protocol was briefly presented by Nurzhan Kisabekov, the head of the Committee for Sanitary and Epidemiological Control of the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Mr. Kisabekov said that Kazakhstan is in the last stages of accession to the Protocol and plans to complete all intergovernmental procedures this year. He also thanked the UNECE Secretariat for supporting Kazakhstan in this process.

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Nurzhan Kisabekov, the head of the Committee for Sanitary and Epidemiological Control of the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Kazakhstan

During the meeting, representatives of the Parties to the Protocol reported on progress in setting and revising their targets. The Working Group also reviewed the progress made with regard to the implementation of the Protocol's programme of work for 2020–2022.

The Parties to the Protocol noted that the measures and country plans drawn up under the Protocol illustrate its effectiveness. For example, 53% of wastewater in Israel undergoes tertiary treatment (filtration and disinfection), and treated wastewater is reused, mainly in agriculture. Modernization and proper maintenance of wastewater treatment plants in the country also aims to further reduce the load of pollutants in wastewater discharged into the environment. In Luxembourg, building rainwater retention basins, storm water basins and pumping stations will help manage forecast increases of rainy periods.

Further, the Working Group took note of participants' proposals for the future work of the Working Group and the program of work of the Protocol for 2023–2025 and encouraged all Parties to the Protocol and other states to contribute to its further development.

On November 16-18, 2022, the Sixth session of the Meeting of the Parties to the Protocol on Water and Health will take place. In this regard, the Working Group discussed the preparations for this event, including the draft agenda, thematic scope and the organization of the high-level meeting.

In the face of growing threats due to climate change, the 13th meeting of the Working Group on Water and Health provided an opportunity to discuss the way forward for countries to implement concrete measures in accordance with the legal framework of the Protocol to protect the population.