Capacity building in water management
A national workshop was held in Ashgabat focusing on improvement of water related legislation of Turkmenistan in the context of climate change. The workshop was held within the project “Addressing Climate Change Risks to Farming Systems in Turkmenistan at National and Community Level” jointly implemented by the Ministry of Nature Protection of Turkmenistan and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and financed by the Adaptation Fund (AF). Major issues related to improvement of the Water Code of Turkmenistan (adopted in 2004) were discussed at the workshop.
Representatives of the ministries and state agencies of Turkmenistan including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan , Mejlis, Ministry of Nature Protection of Turkmenistan, Ministry of Water Economy of Turkmenistan, Ministry of Agriculture of Turkmenistan, Ministry of Economy and Development of Turkmenistan, Ministry of Justice of Turkmenistan, National Institute of Deserts, Flora and Fauna under the Ministry of Nature Protection, National Committee for Hydrometeorology under the Cabinet of Ministers of Turkmenistan, State Corporation “Turkmengeology” as well as national and international experts of the project and UNDP representatives participated in the workshop.
International experts of the project including Anna Kaplina, UNDP Bratislava Regional Centre, Jitzchak Аlster (Israel), Matthew Savage (UK) and Jaime Echeveria (Costa-Rica) and their national colleagues Yolbars Kepbanov and Stanislav Aganov, presented their views and approaches on addressing legal and economic issues related to climatic risks in Turkmenistan, understanding climate change induced costs and benefits of the adaptation measures in Turkmenistan in the context of increasing shortage of water in the agricultural sector of the country. Experience of the neighboring countries in establishment of the Water Users’ Associations (WUA) was also brought to the participants’ attention. Participants shared opinions and actively discussed recommendations for improvement of the water legislation and methodology for calculation of the tariffs based on the costs of water supply to land users in the context of the climate change, elaborated by the project experts.
Participants compared advantages of various adaptation activities in different soil and climatic conditions of Turkmenistan, discussed issues of vulnerability assessment and planning of sustainable water use at the local level in the certain dayhan (farmer) associations. A number of suggestions on amending water use legislation based on the requirements of environmental protection were presented in the course of workshop. Those suggestions based on the current situation in the field and include achievements of scientific and technical progress tailored to the traditional water saving technologies of agricultural crop cultivation.
The project aims at the implementation of the number of activities in three pilot areas selected by the project, which represent indigenous agro-climatic zones of Turkmenistan (desert, mountains and oasis). Adaptation activities are environmentally and economically justified and strive for building capacity of the land and water users. The most successful of those adaptation activities will be recommended for broad replication. They will become a significant contribution to addressing challenges of water and land use in the climate change context. In essence it will be the project’s contribution to the implementation of some of the objectives envisaged in both the National strategy of Turkmenistan on climate change and UNECE Convention on the protection and use of trans-boundary watercourses and international lakes.
Mr. Ahmet Shadurdiev