Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan – The meeting of the Working Group in preparation to the seventh meeting of the Inter-agency Coordination Council of the National Water Policy Dialogue (NPD) took place in hybrid format under the chairmanship of Mr Yerbol Tashimov of the Ministry of Ecology, Geology and Natural Resources of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Key national stakeholders, including national experts from Kazakhstan, representatives of the Delegation of the European Union (EU) to Kazakhstan, international and regional organizations attended this event.
 
National Water Policy dialogues have been taking place in Kazakhstan since 2013 with the support of the EU, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The dialogue has served as a platform for discussing Kazakhstan’s water policy in an inter-sectoral and multi-stakeholder setting, in the spirit of integrated water resources management.
 
The Working Group discussed Kazakhstan’s water policy agenda, including the status of hydro-technical infrastructure, the use of water-saving technologies on irrigated areas, as well as cooperation with its neighboring countries on the protection and use of water resources of transboundary rivers.
 
The importance of sustainable water resources management, safe and equitable water supply and sanitation in the post-pandemic recovery plans were also discussed. In this regard, Mr Johannes Stenbaek Madsen, Head of Cooperation, EU Delegation to Kazakhstan, stated: “Access to safe water and hygiene is crucial in fighting the COVID pandemic and other infectious diseases. We need to prioritise and scale-up investments in the water sector. The European Union will continue supporting Kazakhstan in water policy development and implementation and mobilising investments to the sector to build back better in the post-pandemic recovery.”
 
Participants were also informed of the activities of the EU-funded project “European Union – Central Asia Water, Environment and Climate Change Cooperation (WECOOP)” and of the current status of Kazakhstan’s accession to the UNECE-WHO/Europe Protocol on Water and Health. 
 
The meeting was organised by the Ministry of Ecology, Geology and Natural Resources of Kazakhstan with the financial support of the EU and with technical support from UNECE, OECD, and the International Water Assessment Center.
 
Background: The EU-funded project “European Union Water Initiative National Policy Dialogues (NPDs) in Central Asia” (September 2019 – September 2022), implemented by UNECE in cooperation with OECD, aims to enhance integrated water resources management and inter-sectoral coordination for water security at the national level in Central Asian countries to support sustainable development. The project is implemented as part of the EU-funded project “European Union – Central Asia Water, Environment and Climate Change Cooperation” (WECOOP).
 
For additional information, please contact Mr Alexander Belokurov, Environmental Affairs Officer, UNECE, email: alexander.belokurov@un.org, Ms Nurgul Smagulova, Event and Communication Officer, WECOOP, email: nurgul.smagulova@wecoop.eu, mobile/WhatsApp: +77012066760, Elnura Abakanova, Communications Officer, EU Delegation to Kazakhstan, email: elnura.abakanova@eeas.europa.eu.
 
 
 
Photo by Vladislav Ushakov.