International Water Law for strengthening regional cooperation

Tashkent, Uzbekistan (UzDaily.com) -- A two-day workshop on basic principles of the International Water Law and mechanisms of the international cooperation on use of transboundary water resources takes place in Tashkent.

The event is organized within the joint project “Smart Waters” of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Regional Environmental Centre for Central Asia (CAREC) and the Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources (MAWR) of the Republic of Uzbekistan. Such workshops have been recently held in Tajikistan and Turkmenistan.

According to organizers, this workshop is the good example of joint efforts in the issues of environmental protection and efficient management of water resources. It complies with the principles of foreign policy and improvement of legislation, which are indicated in the Action Strategy for further development of Uzbekistan in 2017-2021.

Currently, there are more than 260 river basins worldwide with controversial aspects of water use, and the legal regulation becomes the main driving factor of their resolution and prevention. Most of the water resources in Central Asia are transboundary, and the regulatory legal acts need to be updated on the basis of international experience and considering regional interests.

“Networking and academic exchange between the countries is the key to mutually beneficial partnership and cooperation for sustainable economic development and environmental protection”, said USAID Director in Uzbekistan Mr. Gary Robbins.

The main lecturer of two-day workshop is the world-renowned expert on the issues of international water law Prof. Sergey Vinogradov (the University of Dundee, Great Britain). The training workshop gathered the representatives of ministries, agencies and public organizations of the Republic of Uzbekistan, which carry out their activities in the sphere of water resources protection and participate in regional cooperation on management of transboundary waters. In addition, the representatives of academic society, lecturers and students from Tashkent universities participate in the event.

“The workshop is the part of CAREC support to the region for strengthening of cooperation and development of national and regional dialogues on solving water issues,” noted the Director of CAREC Branch in Uzbekistan Ms. Shakhnoza Umarova. “Another main goal is to widen and strengthen academic cooperation in the sphere of International Water Law.”

During the workshop, it is planned to discuss global water conventions and their application in the Aral Sea basin, the issues of procedural obligations and information exchange mechanisms in the field of protection and use of transboundary watercourses, as well as current issues related to the operation of water management facilities on transboundary watercourses and other topics.

“Smart Waters” project, funded by USAID in Central Asian countries and Afghanistan, has been implemented by CAREC since 2015. The project aims to support the establishment of professional network, to provide strategic advice on sustainable water resources management, and to develop regional dialogue on water resources and capacity building. CAREC has already established good partnership with the Tashkent Institute of Irrigation and Agricultural Mechanization Engineers (TIIAME) within this project.

It is also planned to develop cooperation with such institutes as the Academy of Public Administration and the Institute of Strategic and Interregional Researches under the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the University of World Economy and Diplomacy (UWED), and the Tashkent State University of Law.

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