The meeting was initiated jointly by the Centre and the UNDP Office as part of a multi-year project aimed at introducing IWRM principles in Kazakhstan's legal and institutional framework. The event was also supported by the European Union, International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea and the Government of Finland, the press service of the OSCE Centre in Astana reports.
"A part of the Environment and Security Initiative, the OSCE together with its national and international partners supports environmentally sound and sustainable water resource management in Central Asia at both the national and regional level," said Jeannette Kloetzer, the Deputy Head of the OSCE Centre in Astana. "The Centre stands ready to raise awareness of IWRM, facilitate capacity building and encourage trans-boundary co-operation in order to advance integrated water management in Kazakhstan."
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"Water is a key component of life and the integrity of ecosystems," said Marat Tolibayev, Kazakhstan's Vice-Minister of Agriculture. "The implementation of IWRM principles will help ensure reliable and effective water management and advance sustainable development in Kazakhstan."
"Forecasts point to a future worsening of the water resource situation in Kazakhstan due to climate change, the consolidation of the farming sector, increased production and, as paradoxical as it may seem, increasing prosperity," Ekaterina Paniklova, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative in Kazakhstan, said in her speech. "Today Kazakhstan must take measures to adapt its water infrastructure and management systems to conserve this resource."