16th meeting of EUWI EECCA Working Group in the context of the National Policy Dialogues Core Group meeting held in July 2012 Print
News Waterfall - News Waterfall #3
Tuesday, 07 August 2012 16:43

The 16th meeting of the EU Water Initiative (EUWI ) for Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia (EECCA) Working Group was held on 2 July 2012 in Geneva.

The EU Water Initiative EECCA component (EUWI EECCA) was launched at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg (2002). EUWI EECCA is one of 4 regional components of the EU Water Initiative. The EUWI EECCA Working Group is the body which monitors and steers the work of EUWI EECCA. The Working Group meets once a year, to review progress, set priorities, share the experience of target countries and information about relevant projects, and to endorse the work plan for the next year.

The EUWI EECCA supports work of the European Neighbourhood Policy and the implementation of objectives contained in the Action Plans and of the EU-Central Asia Platform for Environment and Water Cooperation which constitutes a framework for the implementation of the environment and water pillar of the EU Strategy for Central Asia.

This meeting gathered together some 50 participants: Senior officials representing water and environmental authorities from countries of Western, Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia, as well as international organisations, multilateral and bilateral donors, NGOs took part in the meeting which was chaired by Mr Gheorghe Constantin, Chair of the EUWI EECCA EECCA and General Director of Water Department, Romanian Ministry of Environment and Forestry. It was the 6th meeting leaded by Romania as EUWI EECCA Chair.

The main focus of the meeting was the analysis of the results of National policy dialogues and the endorsement of the work plan for the 2013 year.

National Policy Dialogues (NPD) on IWRM and on Water Supply and Sanitation (WSS) are the main operational instrument of the EU WI. There are 2 strategic partner to support the policy dialogue process: UNECE — for NPD on IWRM and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) — for Water supply and Sanitation (WSS) and financial aspects of IWRM. NPDs are under way in 9 EECCA countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Republic of Moldova, Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Ukraine.

The meeting was welcome by Gheorghe Constantin, Chair of the EUWI, Nicola Di Pietrantonio, European Commission; Marco Keiner, Director, Environment Division, UNECE and Xavier Leflaive, OECD.

During the meeting the countries informed about the national top priority issue(s) for water resource management in their own country regarding water management and economic development. The session on NPDs in EECCA was focused on four topics, introduced by the OECD or UNECE and presented by countries, who informed the audience about recent developments in this topic as a result of the NPD process and shared their experience, raised questions or expressed interest for similar work in the future. The following NPDs’ topics were presented:

Awareness and application of IWRM principles, including cost-recovery (introduction by UNECE and OECD, presentation of the Water Sector Reform towards the IWRM in Tajikistan, raising awareness and understanding on IWRM in Turkmenistan

Opportunities to revise and reform economic instruments for water resources management in Armenia

Adapting the water sector to climate change at national and transboundary levels (introduction by OECD; Impacts of climate change on water resources in Moldova and possible adaptation measures., efforts on transboundary cooperation in adaptation in the Dniester river basin; developing a national water strategy in Azerbaijan in the context of climate change; Applying economic instruments for transboundary basin management: the case of Kura river)

Towards approximation of the European and international water law instruments (Introduction by UNECE, setting targets and target dates under the Protocol on water and health and steps towards implementing the targets in Moldova, setting targets and target dates in Kyrgyzstan, Development of water legislation in Georgia taking into account the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD).

During the Lunch break there were organized 2 separate sessions: the meeting of the Steering group of donors and the meeting to discuss the preparation of the IWRM benchmarking report on IWRM implementation analysis under the NPD in EECCA.

Session 3 was focused on progress in implementing the EUWI EECCA component and Work plan for 2012–2013. Kazakhstan presented the perspectives for the NPD development. The Report back from the lunchtime session on benchmarking report was done by Secretariat of Water Convention; the Reports on progress and proposals for the 2013 Work Plan of the EUWI EECCA WG were done by OECD and

UNECE. The Work Plan on 2012–2013 was endorsed.

The meeting documents are available on http://www.unece.org/index.php?id=29604

and Press-release is available at: http://www.unece.org/index.php?id=30293