UNECE and Interstate Commission on Sustainable Development strengthen cooperation for environmental protection in Central Asia

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The countries of Central Asia - Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan - are facing an increased vulnerability of natural ecosystems. Yet, the socio-economic development of these countries is very much dependent on natural resources, particularly those – such as water resources - with a transboundary nature. In the past, limited cooperation between the countries on these issues has hindered the identification and implementation of joint solutions in addressing shared environmental challenges in the region. But the interest for closer cooperation is now clearly expressed on the highest political levels, bringing new opportunities to develop a regional vision, culture and mindset for environmental cooperation.

To help realize this potential, UNECE has signed an agreement with the Interstate Commission on Sustainable Development (ICSD), a key platform for environmental cooperation in Central Asia under the International Fund for saving the Aral Sea (IFAS). 

The Memorandum of Understanding signed today in Nukus, Uzbekistan, at the ICSD’s annual session, provides a framework for cooperation and to facilitate collaboration on the shared goals and objectives of environmental protection and sustainable development in Central Asia.

This aims to advance progress in Central Asia on environment-related Sustainable Development Goals, strengthening environmental governance, green economy and resource efficiency, climate change adaptation, biodiversity and ecosystem management, water quality and waste management, and other priority areas on regional and national levels.

The two organizations will also work together to harness further opportunities for cooperation, learning and exchange including the UNECE Regional Forum for Sustainable Development and the Environment for Europe process. 



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