Ramsar Contracting Parties from Central Asia and partners will work together toward establishing a regional platform as a means to improving wetland conservation in Central Asia.
The Ramsar Convention Secretariat, together with the Committee for Environmental Protection under the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan, earlier this month organized a regional workshop in Dushanbe with participation of the Ramsar Contracting Parties from Central Asia and numerous international partners, including IUCN. The aim of the workshop was to review and finalize a proposal to establish a Ramsar Regional Initiative for Central Asia.
The workshop was funded by the Government of Japan and was attended by government representatives from all five Central Asian countries, i.e. Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, as well as regional and international partner organizations such as IUCN, WWF, UNEP, Fauna & Flora International, and the Regional Environmental Centre for Central Asia (CAREC).
“Central Asia is home to some of the last remaining vast intact wetlands globally, providing a range of services and benefits to society as a whole. These valuable natural resources require proper governance and management, and only by cooperating at the regional level it will be possible to ensure their long-term conservation”, said Boris Erg, Director of IUCN Regional Office for Eastern Europe and Central Asia (IUCN ECARO).
The countries and partners agreed on the need to foster regional cooperation and work toward establishing a regional platform as a means to improving wetland conservation in Central Asia. As discussed during the workshop, the priority areas of cooperation include a regional mapping and inventory of wetlands, valuation of ecosystem services, improved management effectiveness of Ramsar Sites and other key wetlands, and enhanced awareness about the values of wetlands at all levels.
During the workshop, the participants also developed a work plan and finance outlook for the Initiative in 2016 in which determination to build capacity, promote knowledge exchange, jointly plan for activities, and raise funds to be able to conserve the wetlands of Central Asia, was clearly spelled out. IUCN is supportive of creating regional conservation initiatives in Central Asia and will continue providing support to the initiative.
For more information please contact:
Meri Bakalova, IUCN ECARO Communications Officer, email: [email protected]