On February 22-25, 2022, an international online conference was held on the topic “The Silk Road of Knowledge: Science and Green Policy”, which was attended by representatives of various government bodies, international institutions, NGOs and interested experts in the field of water management and climate change. The conference was organized by the Kazakh-German University, the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the program "Green Central Asia".
The conference was aimed at providing innovative solutions for the five economies of Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan) through:
- presentation and discussion of policy proposals for innovative science-based solutions for the economic and political development of Central Asia in order to mitigate the impact of climate change;
- informing about decision-making processes based on scientific research in the field of integrated water and land resources management, food security, infrastructure development, water and climate security and energy efficiency practices in Central Asia;
- presentation of innovations for development;
- youth involvement in research and decision-making processes.
At the first session “Climate Security: Disaster Risk Reduction and Adaptation”, participants discussed the necessary response strategies, including adaptive measures, as well as disaster risk management strategies that will be used to formulate specific policy decisions and recommendations.
The second session “Satellite data and digitalization to optimize water distribution in the Aral Sea Basin” presented the WUEMoCA (Water Efficiency Monitoring in Central Asia) online tool to scientists, ministries and water authorities to support the monitoring and implementation of measures to improve water use efficiency.
At the third session “Water Resources and Water Security in Central Asia”, the participants held a discussion on the following topics: climate impact assessment on water resources, monitoring tools and data set in the field of water management and hydrological forecasting, as well as drought forecasting in Central Asia. As a result of this workshop, policy makers were presented with key points in the field of water resources and monitoring using the most advanced tools and methods that also serve to adapt to climate change.
The fourth session "Small-Scale Renewable Energy Production" was designed to take a fresh look at the opportunities for the development of small-scale generation in the countries of Central Asia. The session showcased the positive experiences of small scale renewables in Germany and around the world, including how economic incentives, proper business organization and technical support have helped countries achieve very high levels of electricity generation from renewables. The session also showed the current state of development of small renewable energy sources in Central Asia.
At the fifth session “Scientific foundations of soil management for sustainable economic development and environmental security of Central Asia”, the participants collectively considered the problems and challenges of the modern soil management system and formulated possible ways to solve them through the creation of the Central Asian Competence Network in the field of soil science.
The sixth session “Water, Sanitation and Gender” focused on a research-based discussion on improving the availability of clean water in the countries of Central Asia and developing an understanding of the opportunities for innovative developments in clean water for drinking and sanitation (WASH) systems in the countries of Central Asia. During the session, infrastructure solutions and institutional requirements for water supply facilities were considered, ensuring equitable and comprehensive access to clean water and water for sanitation and health needs.
The final session “Resource-Saving Production Logistics” was organized to point out new challenges for Kazakhstan and the world regarding new trends in the decarbonization of logistics and research on its impact in the Central Asian region in order to identify critical gaps between the current information field and the needs of various local and international stakeholder groups.
The conference provided an opportunity to exchange experiences and innovative solutions for the economic and political development of Central Asia. All recommendations and decisions made at the conference will be converted into a jointly created policy note.