Central Asian Citizens Forum towards World Water Forum 8 Regional Pre-Consultations

Forum of the Central Asian Civil society (hereinafter - the Forum) on preparation for 8th World Water Forum (8th WWF) is a part of Regional pre-consultations of the World Civil Water Forum. The Forum was held in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, on February 14-15, 2018 in Sheraton Hotel.

 The Forum was organized in cooperation with the Citizens’ Commission of the World Water Forum 2018, Ministry of Energy and Water Resources of the Republic of Tajikistan, German-Kazakh University, CAREC under the program of USAID “SMART Waters”, Switzerland’s Initiative “Blue Peace Central Asia”, Central Asia Women's Network, Central Asia Youth Forum for Water resources CAYFWater, OSCE, Landell Mill Company, Pamir Energy.

 The primary aim of this event was to prepare the Appeal of the Central Asian Civil society to 8th World Water Forum (8WWF) via engagement of non-governmental organizations, local community, representatives of Basin Councils, representatives of academic community and women in discussion of the issues related to the Central Asian water resources. The Civil Forum 8WWF selected such groups as not engaged in making of decisions relating to water resource utilization and management.

 Vice Minister of Energy and Water resources of Tajikistan Sulton Rakhimzoda, in his welcoming speech, noted the importance of engagement of the Central Asian region in global processes, told about Tajikistan’s initiative to declare the Decade "Water for sustainable development in 2018-2028". 

 Iman Abdel Al, co-chair of the Civil Forum 8WWF who spoke on behalf of Lupercio Antonio Ziroldo, a chairman of the Civil Forum 8WWF, in her speech, supported the process of engagement of the Central Asian civil society in discussion of water issues which was initiated at the Forum held in Dushanbe, and noted the importance of open dialog and platforms for interchange of views.

 Thereafter, the floor was given to a member of the Civil Forum 8WWF, Alice Bouman-Dentener, where she spoke about the main aspects of how to ensure active engagement of local community in making of decisions, the control of an execution of decisions at local level, and the implementation of "bottom-up" approach to decision making. While, according to Mrs. Bouman-Dentener, the platform of 8WWF provides access to discussions for all people, especially for vulnerable social groups. 

 Moreover, Dushanbe Forum provided the opportunity to discuss sustainability of Forum results; for that end, a panel session was held with participation of the representative of organizers of 7WWF - Korea Water Forum, Mrs. Lee Hekung and Iman Abdel Al.

 On February 14 in the afternoon, the participants were divided into 4 groups to undertake teamwork - local communities, academic communities, young professionals and women community in Water management. Until the end of the first working day, each group was discussing water resources with reference to 6 directions: Climate change, Population, Development, Cities, Ecosystems, Finances. Each group offered solutions to current water issues in 3 aspects: Shared use, Potential, Management.

 On the second day, the participants worked in 6 mixed groups in order to jointly elaborate 18 common items which were included in the Final Appeal. In their Appeal, the Central Asian Civil society selected by voting the four issues to pay special attention, i.e. water monitoring and data exchange (1), development of hydro-meteorological monitoring network for climate change adaptation (2), environmental education for conservation of natural resources (3), use of economic instruments in water resources management (4).

 At the end of the second day, the Appeal to the Eighth World Water Forum in Brazil from Central Asian citizens was presented.