Climate change of Central Asia discussed in Kazakhstan

Tashkent, Uzbekistan ( -- The Central Asia Climate Change Conference is being held in Almaty from January 24 to 25. At least 200 representatives of governmental and non-governmental institutions, the scientific community, multilateral development banks that work in the field of climate change have attended this event.

The subject of the Conference is "Building path towards sustainable regional adaptation", the main objective of which is to support the regional dialogue, dissemination of knowledge and information on adaptation to climate change and to identify opportunities for further joint actions between all stakeholders.

The Conference is organized by the Regional Environmental Centre for Central Asia (CAREC). It is held within the framework of Climate Adaptation and Mitigation Program for Aral Sea Basin (CAMP4ASB) with participation of the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea (IFAS) with the support of the World Bank.

At the opening ceremony, Mr. Guich Abaev, Head of the Information and Analytical Department of the Executive Committee of the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea made a welcome speech: "A perspective assessment of the Central Asian water resources in connection with climate change has shown that none of the scenarios considered reflecting warming, suggests an increase in available water resources. The most important adaptation to climate change direction is to increase the agriculture resilience to climate change", Mr. Abaev emphasized. “Currently, Turkmenistan is the country presiding in the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea. The priority tasks facing IFAS are the Aral Sea Basin Programme (ASBP-4), assistance in improving the legal framework for IFAS activities and the regulatory framework for water management and environmental protection in Central Asia”.

The fact that the water resources of all countries in the region are particularly sensitive to climate change was noted in subsequent speeches:

"The climate change impacts on water availability are already reflected in ecosystems, in agriculture, and in energy. With a temperature increase of 4 ° C on a global scale, a decrease in water availability will increase the irrigation water demand by about 30%. The glaciers area in the region has already declined by one-third of its volume since the beginning of the 20th century and is projected to lose up to 50% in its volume with a global temperature increase of 2 ° C, and possibly up to 78% with world warming at 4 ° C”, commented Dr Iskandar Abdullaev, CAREC Executive Director. “CAREC, as a regional organization, supports the dialogue and cooperation expansion in the interests of all five Central Asian countries to develop solutions to combat the climate change effects at the interstate and inter-branch levels".

The World Bank has provided the highest level of vulnerability to four out of five Central Asian countries among 28 countries in Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia . In addition, according to various climate change scenarios for the countries of Central Asia, already a temperature increases of 1-3 ° C by 2030-2050 is expected.

Mr. Ato Brown, the World Bank Resident Representative in Kazakhstan: "The Bank announced in Paris that we will no longer finance upstream oil and gas after 2019 in response to threat posed by climate change. The world is changing rapidly and we all need to adapt. We in the Bank have also committed that 28% of our lending will be going to climate action by 2020".

The targeted actions to combat climate change and eliminate its consequences are the main condition for prosperity and development for the Central Asian countries. These actions are also an integral part of the successful implementation of the Paris Agreement, Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction. The implementation of all these measures at the national, regional and global levels jointly provides the basis for inclusive, low-carbon and sustainable development in a changing climate conditions.

"Kazakhstan, being a Party to international climate agreements, has ratified the Paris Agreement by taking a voluntary contribution to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions by 15% from 1990 level to 2030," comments Mr. Olzhas Agabekov, Director of the Climate Change Department of the Ministry of Energy Republic of Republic of Kazakhstan. “The achievement of this goal is expected to be executed by promoting the best available technologies in industry, involving renewable energy sources in the balance, quota system and trading in greenhouse gas emission quotas".

As Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Central Asian countries provide their National Communications under the UNFCCC on a regular basis, conduct national inventory of greenhouse gas emissions and gas sinks, assess vulnerability and adaptation, and formulate measures to mitigate climate change and contribute to capacity building and awareness-raising. However, in view of the climate change issues global nature, there remains a need for close cooperation not only between the world countries, but also within the Central Asian region.

In 2016, in response to emerging regional needs, the Climate Adaptation and Mitigation Program for Aral Sea Basin (CAMP4ASB) was launched. The CAMP4ASB project aims to support the countries of the Central Asia in enhancing access to the best knowledge and data, increasing investment, and capacity building, which together will address the challenges posed by climate change in the Central Asian region.

CAREC is one of the implementers of the project and responsible for implementation of the regional component, which in turn provides for arrangements of regular conferences and strengthening the regional cooperation in the field of climate change.

Based on the results of the two-day discussions, a final non-binding document will be prepared that will serve as a tool for national and international partners in their efforts to develop and implement climate-related projects as well as co-financing and supporting any other measures that will facilitate the Paris Agreement and Agenda 2030 implementation in the Central Asia region.

In addition, the regional photo contest "50 images of climate change" winners have been awarded at the conference framework. The contest has been held in the following categories: The role of woman in the sustainable use of natural resources in changing climate conditions; The climate change effects on the state of glaciers and water resources in Central Asia; The climate change impact on the welfare of the rural population in Central Asia.

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