In particular, it is proposed to create a consortium to accelerate the construction of large hydropower facilities.
The Eurasian Development Bank presented at the UN Conference on Water Resources in New York five measures that will solve the problems of regulating the water and energy complex of Central Asia.
“We are firmly convinced that the problem of rational use and distribution of water and energy resources in Central Asia requires joint action,” said Albrecht Konrad, head of the EDB’s Sustainable Development Directorate, speaking at the conference. “We must solve it in the context of the region as a whole.”
In his opinion, water and energy resources form the basis of regional cooperation.
“Regional water and energy organizations, as well as multilateral financial institutions, could act together in this process,” Konrad said.
He proposed the following measures that will contribute to solving water and energy problems in the region:
– countries will benefit from an open and constructive regional dialogue on the general principles of regulation of the water and energy complex of Central Asia and the subsequent adoption of these principles;
– already established institutions with the necessary legal framework and the required status should be involved in the search for regulatory solutions;
– it is economically feasible to establish the International Water and Energy Consortium of Central Asia (hereinafter referred to as the Consortium). The consortium will help accelerate the construction and more efficient operation of large hydropower projects;
– different forms of participation of financial operators in the Consortium should be considered. They perform many functions – from organizing long-term syndicated lending to providing settlement and payment services and technical assistance;
– The EDB proposes to direct more resources to cross-country and cross-sectoral research and consider the possibility of creating an International Research Center for the Water and Energy Complex of Central Asia.
Albrecht Konrad noted that all these proposals have been peer-reviewed and discussed with the relevant government agencies of most Central Asian countries in the framework of working meetings.
“In the future, on the basis of the Consortium, a whole “ecosystem” of organizations may arise, for example, the International Center for Research on the Water and Energy Complex has been created,” he said.
Konrad believes that joint regulation of water use will strengthen economic, trade and investment cooperation in Central Asia and can accelerate the formation of a single energy market in the region.
“In our opinion, water and energy resources form the basis of regional cooperation. Regional water and energy organizations, as well as multilateral financial institutions, could act as a common link in this process,” the EDB representative concluded.
The 2023 UN Water Conference was hosted by Tajikistan and the Netherlands. It has a critical role to play in mobilizing the Member States of the UN system and stakeholders to take the necessary actions and implement successful solutions in this area. The purpose of the Conference is the adoption by states of voluntary commitments to fulfill the tasks contained in the Agenda for Action on Water.