Central Asian Countries Collaborate on Climate Resilience

World Bank15 May 2014: The Second Central Asia Climate Knowledge Forum, organized under the theme ‘Moving Towards Regional Climate Resilience,' was organized by the World Bank and brought together over 100 policymakers and practitioners from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

The Forum, which convened in Almaty, Kazakhstan, from 13-15 May 2014, was also attended by external experts, as well as representatives from national and regional learning institutions, universities, civil society organizations (CSOs), development partners, organizations and other climate-resilient development stakeholders.

The event included two days of technical discussions combining regional and international experiences in climate-smart development, integrated water resource management (IWRM), and disaster-risk management (DRM), while the final day consisted of a high-level roundtable titled ‘National and Regional Climate Resilience Program Design for Central Asia.'

The Forum aimed to: review and further develop a climate resilience programme currently being prepared by a Technical Working Group, made up of cross-sectoral specialists nominated by governments in the region; raise awareness on the climate change science and implications for DRM and climate-smart planning under a landscape approach; foster knowledge and experience sharing in the region and with other parts of the world; and convene learning sessions and offer practical training on formulating, preparing and implementing a regional climate-resilience programme.

The Forum: further developed the concept for a climate resilience programme, and integrated feedback from Central Asian countries and development partners; and improved knowledge and understanding of climate risks and options for climate-smart action at national and regional scales.

According to the World Bank, Central Asia is already experiencing the impacts of a changing climate, including increased frequency and intensity of droughts and river flooding. The Bank notes that aging infrastructure and inefficient water and land management practices are particular challenges to increasing resilience. The proposed multi-year programme focuses on building institutions for investment preparation and implementation across various sectors.

The inaugural Central Asia Climate Knowledge Forum, which took place in June 2013, concluded with a demand for greater collaboration and participants recommended an annual forum to support learning and action towards developing climate resilience at national and regional levels across multiple sectors of the economy. [Forum Website] [World Bank Press Release]