The European Union-Central Asia (EU-CA) Water and Environment Cooperation Platform (WECOOP)

The EU-CA regional political dialogue broadly recognizes that environmental integration is key to good governance in tackling environmental and resource challenges. It is also widely agreed that rational water management is a vital environmental challenge for the region and that there is a need to strengthen cooperation between the EU and CA in taking steps to put environmental integration into practice.

The EU response to the challenges of this sector is currently being implemented through a series of interlinked cooperation programs under the common roof of the EU Regional Environmental Program for Central Asia (EURECA), which comprises 4 components the main environmental challenges in the region including (i) the sustainable use and management of natural resources, (ii) integrated water resource management, (iii) environmental awareness raising and (iv) support to the development of the EU – CA Water and Environmental Platform aimed at facilitating enhanced regional cooperation both between the EU and Central Asia and within Central Asia.

Objective

The project’s objective is to promote and support enhanced regional co-operation to protect environmental and water resources both between the EU and Central Asia and within Central Asia as called for by the EU-CA Strategy.

Its purpose is to support the development, effectiveness and awareness of the Environment and Water Cooperation Platform as a means to facilitate enhanced regional cooperation both between the EU and Central Asia and within Central Asia.

Expected Outcome

Regional co-operation on environment and water both between EU and Central Asia and within Central Asia is being promoted.

Outputs

  • A programme of work for the Platform has been established and related activities have been taking place. This includes:
    • regular High-Level meetings between EU and Central Asia (once a year in principle);
    • regular joint expert working group meetings on environmental governance and climate change (at least once a year) in close collaboration with Italian Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea;
    • multilateral events, conferences, workshops, seminars, policy briefings and other discussion platforms, as agreed with EU Member states and/or Central Asia partners.
  • Frameworks for cooperation between Central Asian countries have been enhanced: the institutional and development capacities of existing regional institutions (in particular EC IFAS and other IFAS technical bodies) have been strengthened, in close collaboration with on-going initiatives and processes.
  • Communication/mapping/networking are ensured and effective where appropriate. This includes:
    • Enhanced visibility of the EU–CA cooperation on environment and water;
    • Coordination and synergies between EURECA components;
    • Coordination and synergies between EURECA and other EU platforms established under the “EU and Central Asia: Strategy for a New Partnership”;
    • Coordination and synergies between EURECA and other EU-funded projects in CA (in particular projects funded under the Energy Natural Resources Thematic Programme (ENRTP) or Framework Programme (FP));
    • Coordination and synergies between projects in CA and in ENP countries.

Beneficiaries

The beneficiary countries are Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan. Uzbekistan is included as an observer country.

Project Components

Component 1:

Establishment of the European Union-Central Asia (EU-CA) Water and Environment Cooperation Platform (WECOOP)

Component 2:

Strengthening of the Institutional and Development Capacities of the Regional Institutions involved in environment and water.

Component 3:

Communication, Mapping and Networking.

Timeframe

30 months (the project started in January 2012).

 

For more information about the Water and Environment Cooperation Platform,
please, visit: http://www.wecoop-project.org/.