UNECE Supports Afghan-Tajik Cooperation on Water and Climate Change

UNECE29 March 2012: The UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) project on “Strengthening cooperation on hydrology and the environment between Afghanistan and Tajikistan in the upper Amu Darya River Basin” convened water and environment experts to discuss cooperation related to severe floods, vulnerable ecosystems and climate change impacts in the Amu Darya Basin.

The experts met from 27-29 March 2012, in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, under the aegis of the UNECE and the Committee for Environmental Protection in Tajikistan. The meeting featured discussions on lack of knowledge about climate change impacts on water resources, severe flooding and vulnerable ecosystems, as well as a field visit to the border area to see hydrological monitoring in action and explore mountain ecosystems.

The meeting marks the beginning of a longer-term project under the UNECE Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes (UNECE Watercourses Convention) and the UN Special Programme for the Economies of Central Asia (SPECA), which will support bilateral environment and hydrology cooperation. The meeting resulted in the establishment of a bilateral working group to undertake joint hydrological monitoring and information exchange on the Pyanj River, a tributary of the Amu Darya, which forms the boundary between Afghanistan and Tajikistan. [UNECE Press Release]