10 June 2022
The Second High-Level International Conference on the International Decade of Action "Water for Sustainable Development", 2018-2028, organized by the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan and the United Nations with the assistance of a number of international partners, concluded its work in Dushanbe, Tajikistan.The Conference aimed to identify ways and mechanisms to implement the goals and objectives of the Water Decade in the context of achieving Sustainable Development Goals related to water. The Conference was attended by delegations from 75 countries and more than 100 international and regional organizations, including academic institutions and non-governmental organizations.
In order to involve more stakeholders and groups and take into account their suggestions and recommendations for the successful implementation of the Water Decade, in the framework of the Conference 12 thematic panels and 5 forums were organized, the results of which were presented at the Plenary Session and reflected in the outcome document.
UNESCO contributed to the success of the Conference by organizing and participating in a number of side events, thematic panels and forums on various aspects of water security: from transboundary water cooperation, climate change and mountain ecosystems to science-based solutions, technologies and indigenous knowledge.
On 6 June 2022, the UNESCO Almaty Office in cooperation with the United Nations Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCCA) and in partnership with the Committee on Environmental Protection and the Centre for Glaciers Research of the National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Tajikistan organized a Conference Forum on “Water and Mountains Towards Sustainable Development”. The Forum brought together around 150 participants representing governmental institutions, UN agencies, international organizations, scientific institutions, academia, NGOs and youth.
The Forum largely focused on the issue of glaciers melt in Central Asia and water security in the changing climate. It provided a viable expert platform for exchanging experiences and best practices, presenting specific case studies, as well as planned and ongoing initiatives and projects from high mountain regions.
The participants of the Forum underlined the importance of actions to intensify practical, scientific and educational work at the regional level in support of joint efforts of the Central Asian states in addressing the glaciers melt. Deepening cooperation between the states of the region is of vital importance, since the transboundary nature of water and environmental resources of the Aral Sea basin require consolidated approaches. The participants also emphasized a high vulnerability of the mountain systems to climate change and underlined the need for continued efforts for monitoring the state of glaciers, snow cover and permafrost in the mountains.
The recommendations of the Forum were presented at the closing plenary of the Conference and will be reflected in the Conference outcome document to accelerate the Agenda 2030 and the Water Decade implementation.