OSCE supports conference on transboundary water cooperation in Kazakhstan

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ASTANA (TCA) — Some 130 representatives from Kazakhstan’s Parliament, central and local government authorities, academia and civil society, as well as experts from both Kazakhstan and Russia, participated in an OSCE-supported international conference on transboundary cooperation in the Zhaiyk (Ural) river basin on 23 July in Uralsk, Western Kazakhstan, the OSCE Programme Office in Astana reported.

They discussed challenges in managing the transboundary basin of the Zhaiyk (Ural) river, possible solutions and best practices in managing the local ecosystems.
Experts from Austria and Uzbekistan shared best practices on transboundary joint water bodies with a focus on their mandate, tasks, legal status, organizational structure and sources of funding. They also highlighted ways to strengthen bilateral and multilateral co-operation in water management as well the role of the public in participating in decision-making processes on water management-related issues.

The event concluded with practical exercises where participants identified existing gaps in transboundary co-operation between Kazakhstan and Russia, and proposed solutions to bridge them.

The conference was organized by the OSCE Programme Office in Astana, Western Kazakhstan’s Regional Administration and the Zhaiyk-Ural Public Fund Ecological Movement. It is part of the Programme Office’s multi-year efforts to contribute to the transboundary water dialogue and to raise awareness of state institutions in the area of sustainable water management.

Sergey Kwan

TCA