Investing in environmental projects in Central Asia to ensure sustainable development of the region

Investing in environmental projects in Central Asia to ensure sustainable development of the region

The 8th meeting of the European Union-Central Asia joint Working group on environment and climate change, which was attended by high-level delegates from five Central Asian countries, the European Union, international financial institutions, international and regional organizations and NGOs, wrapped up in Tashkent.

The meeting was held under the chairmanship of the representative of the Ministry of environment, land and sea of Italy Massimo Cozzone, since Italy is coordinating EU country for the process.

The main topic of the Tashkent meeting was the discussion on improving access of the Central Asian countries – Kazakhstan-Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan – to the Green Climate Fund, the EU Investment Facility for Central Asia, in the context of investment into bilateral programs and environmental projects.

As it was noted, based on the results of the working visits of experts to the Central Asian countries, undertaken to study the investment project proposals, the key areas of future projects for the near future are determined such as waste management, water management, energy and adaptation to climate change.

The parties also agreed that further successful preparation of investment programmes requires a strategic approach and an appropriate environmental assessment.

– Central Asia is currently one of the most attractive regions in terms of sustainable development opportunities, – commented Massimo Cozzone, confirming his country’s commitment for the success of future activities of the Working Group, now focusing more and more on concrete actions, with the aim of supporting CA Countries in terms of development opportunities as well as in dealing with the main environmental challenges.

The same view was supported by Helge Elisabeth Zeitler, Deputy Head of Unit, the European Commission’s Directorate General for Environment. According to her, strengthened cooperation on environment benefits both the EU and CA. With our joint efforts, we can ensure the sustainability of investments from the EU or others so that they substantially improve both the environment, and the life of our citizens and at the same time promote sustainable growth, she added.

The meeting was organized within the framework of second phase of the EU-Central Asia enhanced Regional Cooperation on Environment, Climate Change and Water (WECOOP2) project, launched by the European Union (EU) in August 2016.

The previous meeting of the Working group was held in Brussels in February this year.