BRUSSELS – To discuss policy developments at regional and national level in Central Asia, representatives of all five Central Asian countries, the European Union (EU), International Financial Institutions (IFIs), international and regional organizations, and NGOs gathered in Brussels, Belgium, on 6-7 February 2018 for the 7th meeting of the EU-CA Working Group on Environment and Climate Change (WGECC), chaired by the Italian Ministry of Environment, Land and Sea.
2018 is a crucial year for boosting concrete activities in Central Asia, taking stock of the past experience to deliver a contribution to implementing the EU-Central Asia Strategy for the cooperation in the region of Central Asia. Promoting sustainable solutions to water, energy, waste management and climate change related issues is at the top of national development agenda in all Central Asian countries and of the EU-Central Asia Strategy.
Following the decision of the 6th meeting of the WGECC which took place in July 2017 in Astana, in the Italian Pavilion at the Expo 2017 “Future Energy”, the EU-funded project WECOOP2 presented to the participants the final draft of the Investor Guide and the web-based Regional Knowledge Centre. Both tools aim at providing general guidelines and best practices for preparing bankable project proposals, as well as information on requirements and conditions of relevant IFIs and donors for investment funding. The information covers project appraisal, respective project cycles, applicable environmental and social criteria.
The participants discussed ways to improve access by CA countries to IFIs and donors’ investment funding in environment, energy, waste management and water sectors, including via the EU Investment Facility for Central Asia (IFCA). All countries of Central Asia are eligible for this support. The participants also discussed key directions to further strengthen CA regional organizations active in environment, water and climate change.
The Italian Ministry of Environment stressed the importance of regional cooperation dialogue in the framework of the EU-CA Platform on environment and water.
Parties agreed priorities for the 8th meeting of the EU-CA WGECC to be held in June 2018 in Tashkent.
The second phase of the EU-Central Asia enhanced Regional Cooperation on Environment, Climate Change and Water (WECOOP2) project, launched by the European Union (EU) in August 2016, aims at strengthening the dialogue between the Central Asia partners and at facilitating their cooperation with the EU on environment and climate change.
The Platform for Environment and Water Cooperation was established at the EU-CA High Level (Ministerial) Conference in Rome (Italy) in 2009 as the framework for the EU-CA cooperation in water and environment based on the EU Strategy for Central Asia agreed with the CA states. The EU-CA Working Group on Environment and Climate Change (WGECC), chaired by The Italian Ministry of Environment, Land and Sea, assists in the identification of regional cooperation priority actions and supports the Platform by strengthening policy dialogue and cooperation at the regional level and between EU and CA.
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