A meting to discuss the regional water policy was held on 13-14 October 2006 in Bishkek under the ADB RETA 6163 “Improved Management of Shared Water Resources in Central Asia”. The meeting was attended by ICWC members, representatives of the National Working Groups (NWGs) from the water and energy sectors in the countries, as well members of the Regional Working Group (except for United Control Center “Energy”).
The participants of the meeting discussed the progress in the implementation of the project activities and noted the current delay in implementing the schedule. The emphasis was focused on the failure to fulfill the positions stated in the minutes of the previous meeting in time. The NWGs agreed up to 1 November 2006:
- to submit the protocol on approval of the national reports on the analysis of the efficiency of the agreements in force by all NWG members;
- based on the remarks of the RWG, specify reports on inventory of work being carried out by each country for interstate cooperation, with detailed basing of contribution and share of expenditures;
- note that the NWGs of Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan give additional materials, the completeness degree of which will be assessed by the RWG and send to all the nWGs for consideration;
- submit remarks and supplements to the report of BWO “Amudarya” on the Amudarya river basin, on which remarks were received from the NWG of Turkmenistan;
- submit remarks or agree the developed and distributed terminology to article 1 in the draft Agreement on the Use Water and Energy Resources in the Syrdarya river basin.
Based on the results of the analysis of the submitted documents, a work meeting of the RWG members and one representative from each NWG will be held in the second half of November this year for ultimate approval.
On 19 June 2006, the Executive Committee of the International Fund for the Aral Sea Saving (IFAS) sent, through the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, a draft Agreement on the Formation and Functioning of National, Basin and Regional Databases on the Integrated Use and Protection of Water Resources in the Aral Sea Basin agreed by the ICWC. The approval with short remarks was received from the Government of Kazakhstan only.
Up to the end of 2006, it is planned to hold two training seminars “International and National Water Law” and “Mechanisms for Settling Disputes and Achieving a Consensus”. Professor Patricia Wouters, Director, UNESCO CENTER for Water Law, Policy and Science, University of Dundee, Scotland, was invited as a lecturer/moderator to the first seminar to be held on 13-17 November 2006 in Tashkent. ICWC members should be asked to invite representatives of the legislative authorities to the seminar as participants, apart from NWG representatives.
It is planned to hold the second workshop “Mechanisms for settling disputes and achieving a consensus” inviting moderators from the Israeli Center for Negotiations and Mediation in December 2006 – January 2007.
The participants discussed the draft Agreement on Water and Energy Resources Use in the Syrdarya River Basin and agreed on a version reflecting a certain consensus between NWG representatives.
It was noted that the NWG of Turkmenistan presented its remarks to the draft Agreement on Water and Energy Resources Use in the Amudarya River Basin. The remarks from the NWGs of Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, as well as of BWO “Amudarya” should be submitted by 12 November 2006.