The Ili- Balkash basin is a unique natural unit with a territory exceeding the area of Great Britain, Denmark, Switzerland, Holland, and Belgium altogether. The basin has a huge potential for ecotourism, agriculture, energy generation and industry. Due to increased human-made interventions and increased water intake, the ecosystem is threatened to undergo the same disaster as that of the Aral sea.
IUCN WESCANA participated in the expert group meeting during March 6-7 in parallel with the International Conference on Introduction of Integrated Management in the Ili-Balkhash Basin which was hosted by the European Commission and Ministry of Environmental Protection of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Experts and government representatives, scientific and non-governmental organizations from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and the People’s Republic of China as well as representatives of UNDP, UNESCO, OSCE, IUCN, Ramsar Convention, UNESCO and others were present in the meeting. IUCN shared its global experience in the Water and Nature Programme where approaches and tools for eco-system management were developed and validated through case studies.
IUCN global water experience will be of value to the transboundary water system between Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and China. Negotiated agreements should be formulated at the grass-root where stakeholders’ dialogue is to be established. "This must be supported by a sound institutional and legal framework to ensure equitable and reasonable water allocation among riparian states" IUCN WESCANA Regional Director Dr. Odeh Al-Jayyousi said, who represented IUCN in this meeting.
The expert meeting agreed to devise a long-term integrated plan for the Illi-Balkash basin to preserve the ecosystems and ensure efficient utilization on natural resources by building on the international best practices. Besides, it was noted that the river basin plan should be in harmony with the national priorities and international commitments of riparian states and international organizations in the field of Millennium Development Goals and the promotion of international cooperation to achieve economic and social development.
In conclusion, the participants express their gratitude to the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Ministry of Environmental Protection of the Republic of Kazakhstan, European Commission and Regional Environmental Centre for Central Asia for excellent organization of the Conference, which provided an opportunity to discuss important issues of cooperation for sustainable development of the Ili-Balkhash Basin in the interests of present and future generations of its population.
For more information contact Odeh Al-Jayyousi at: firstname.lastname@example.org