On May 9-10, 2018, a Coordination Meeting of the Executive Committee of IFAS with international partners on development of programs related to solving the problems of the Aral Sea Basin took place in the conference hall of the hotel "Archabil" in Ashgabat.
The main goal of the meeting was to discuss new forms of cooperation between EC IFAS and international partners on development, as well as to establish contacts and intensify the interaction aimed at solving the problems of the Aral Sea Basin, in particular the development and implementation of future projects and programs, in order to improve the environmental, socio-economic and the water management situation in the region.
This event was organized in close cooperation with the GIZ Regional Program "Transboundary Water Management in Central Asia" (GIZ TWM CA).
Representatives of EC IFAS, relevant ministries and departments of Turkmenistan and international development partners (international organizations and donors) took part in the conference.
During the discussion, the main areas of work of the Executive Committee of IFAS were the development of ASBP-4, improvement of the organizational structure and regulatory framework of IFAS, REAP and the UN Special Program for the Aral Sea Basin.
Further, the following international development partners presented their main activities in the region: the United Nations Development Program in Turkmenistan, the United Nations Regional Center for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia, the World Bank, the European Union, the GIZ Program "Transboundary Water Management in Central Asia", the Regional Environmental Center of Central Asia, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and others.
Then there was an active discussion of new forms of cooperation, taking into account the coincidence of the priorities of the main activities of IFAS and international development partners.
Following the results of the meeting, IFAS's joint priorities with international development partners (donors) were identified to address the problems of the Aral Sea basin. It was noted that the projects of ASBP-4 will focus on the development of projects, interest in the implementation of which will be announced by donors and with the help of which the region will be able to attract investments. Thus, regional projects will reflect the priorities of the country in accordance with the priorities of the donor.
Following the discussions of the new forms of cooperation, international development partners decided to create a Consultative Group in order to enhance the effectiveness of the international community's support for cooperation in Central Asia.
Thus, the Consultative Group will become the main channel for the system of regional cooperation within the framework of IFAS in obtaining and distributing assistance from the international community.
This will allow to establish coordinated priorities for the programs and projects proposed by each of the intergovernmental regional organizations, to focus the international community's assistance on supporting the implementation of ASBP-4 and the REAP, and also to increase the overall effectiveness of donor assistance and improve the transparency of its distribution and use.