Resolution International Central Asian Science-to-Practice Conference “30-years of Water Cooperation among the Central Asian States: Facing the Future”

We, representatives of ministries, agencies, academia and the public of the Central Asian countries as well as representatives of regional and international organizations, who gathered together in Turkistan, Kazakhstan on April 26-27, 2022 on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the Interstate Commission for Water Coordination (ICWC) in Central Asia,

noting with satisfaction the dynamic development of good-neighborly relations between the states in the region,

following the spirit of agreements reached in the course of bilateral visits and consultations among the heads of Central Asian states,

taking into account the adoption by the Board of the International Fund for saving the Aral Sea (IFAS) of the Program of actions in support of riparian countries in the Aral Sea Basin or the Aral Sea Basin Program (ASBP-4) on the 29th of June 2021,

supporting priorities of water cooperation raised at the special session “Cooperation of the Central Asian countries to ensure Water Security in the context of climate change” during the 9th World Water Forum (March 23-31, 2022, Senegal),

pursuing the goal of promoting the regional water dialogue and ensuring sustainable development,

declare the following:

1. Water is central to sustainability of the society and the natural environment, being a key factor of water, food, energy, and environmental security and a catalyst of cooperation between the Central Asia states.

2. 30 years of ICWC operation ensured coordinated transboundary water management. Thanks to cooperation under umbrella of ICWC, it was possible to create a system of interactions and decision support, which included annual planning, monitoring and operational management of river flow; information and data exchange; joint regional projects and scientific research; joint training; prompt interactions under drought and flood conditions; and, a system of analytical reports.

3. While recognizing ICWC’s contribution to regional cooperation, it is important to continue improving ICWC activity, to the benefits and with the involvement of all states in Central Asia in order to ensure multipurpose and sound use and protection of transboundary water resources.

4. Expressing concerns about growing water shortage as a result of increased impacts of climate changes and mounting water demand, we consider it important to continue coordinated actions in the following priority areas:

  • Achievement of goals and implementation of tasks set under the International Decade for Action on Water for Sustainable Development, 2018-2028;
  • All-round implementation of integrated water resources management and nexus approaches for balanced and equitable meeting the needs of all economic sectors and ecosystems;
  • Water conservation and sound water use, including through mobilization of investments, capacity building and incentives for adoption of advanced water-saving technologies (drip irrigation, sprinkling, etc.);
  • Formulation and implementation of a harmonized regional policy and measures for adaptation to climate change;
  • Reduction of water-related disaster risks;
  • Supporting of regional dialogue and cooperation processes through collection and exchange of reliable data and true information, including via existing platforms and institutions and by improving accuracy of forecasts, introducing automated water control and monitoring systems and up-to-date systems of data collection and exchange, including RS;
  • Improvement of legal framework for implementation of IWRM and adaptation to climate change, encouragement of active involvement of Central Asian countries in international treaties;
  • Reconstruction, modernization and development of water infrastructure for more efficient water use at all levels;
  • More active participation of the public, especially youth and women in water management;
  • Strengthening of education, scientific and expert base of water management and regional cooperation, also by creating favorable conditions for professional development, enhancing partnerships between educational and research organizations, improving curricula and training methods, and integrating science into decision making;
  • Encouraging population to value and take care of water;
  • Coordination of actions on conservation and restoration of disturbed ecosystems, including glaciers, flow formation zones, river deltas and the exposed bed of the Aral Sea, and on mitigation of climate change.

Also, the participants:

  • Welcome the initiative of the President of Tajikistan to declare the year 2025 an International Year of glacier preservation and to establish an International fund for glaciers;
  • Recognize the significant contribution of development partners in supporting country actions to strengthen interstate water cooperation and emphasize the importance of expanding this cooperation;
  • Call for consolidation of efforts at the regional and international levels to further solve the problems in the Aral Sea Basin;
  • Thank the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the organizers and development partners for organization of the anniversary conference that ensured its success.

Adopted on April 27, 2022

in the city of Turkistan, Kazakhstan