International Coordination of Water Sector Initiatives in Central Asia

EUCAM Working Paper No. 15

Tatjana Lipiäinen and Jeremy Smith

Central Asian water resources and their management are a key policy area for the governments of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, as well as for international donors. However, a genuinely regional approach to water management is still lacking. The range of issues and approaches involved, the multitude of donors, and the lack of cooperation among Central Asian governments make coordination in this area a complex challenge. This paper examines the various water sector coordination initiatives that exist in the region and considers their main achievements and shortcomings. Special focus is placed on EU-initiated coordination of waterrelated projects and programmes. How do European countries intend to organise water management activities
together, and on their own, in a region divided by political tensions? What informal and formal coordination mechanisms exist, and which work best?

19 pages.