Project aims to assist Chu-Talas Water Commission and other key stakeholders
The project “Knowledge and Good Practices Transfer from the Sava River Basin to the Chu-Talas River Basin for Building Capacities of the Chu-Talas Water Commission (CTWC) and Key Stakeholders” is being implemented by the REC within the framework of the broader UNDP-GEF project “Enabling Transboundary Cooperation and Integrated Water Resources Management in the Chu and Talas River Basins”, which aims to support the establishment of integrated water resources management in the transboundary Chu-Talas basins, and includes providing assistance to the Transboundary Water Commission of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Kyrgyz Republic—i.e. the CTWC.
The REC-led project involving the transfer of knowledge and good practices includes seven trainings on a variety of issues connected to integrated water resources management (e.g. water quality, climate change adaptation, wastewater management, information and data exchange, stakeholder involvement and public participation), as well as three awareness-raising events.
Two of these events were held last week in Kyrgyzstan: the first (on September 18, 2017) was a training on stakeholder involvement and public participation, and the second (on September 19) was an awareness-raising event to both mark the 10th anniversary of the CTWC and to celebrate the “Day of the River” in the Chu and Talas river basins.
On September 18, REC project consultant Magdolna Toth-Nagy and Irena Brnada, Senior Expert from REC Croatia, conducted a Chu-Talas project “Training on Mobilisation of Stakeholders and River Popularisation”. Brnada shared a presentation titled “Experience with Stakeholders’ Mobilisation and River Popularisation in the Sava River Basin and Eastern Europe”, which was developed by water expert Dejan Komatina, who is also the REC Deputy Executive Director for Programme Implementation.
During the training, the participants worked in three groups that included government representatives, water users and CSOs. The participants identified key stakeholders that need to be involved in present and future adaptation efforts in the Chu-Talas River Basin, and discussed tools and techniques that can be used to keep stakeholders more actively engaged and informed. Afterwards, Toth Nagy commented on the results of the groups sessions, based on the experiences and activities of the International Sava River Basin Commission (ISRBC).
On September 19, Komatina delivered a presentation on the tools for public participation and stakeholder involvement that the ISRBC has developed since its establishment in 2005. These tools work in relation to the three levels of public participation as foreseen by the EU Water Framework Directive and the UNECE Aarhus Convention, namely: provision of information, consultation, and active involvement of stakeholders. Two tools, mentioned below, were given special attention in the presentation.
International celebration of “Sava River Day”
“Sava River Day” is an efficient tool for reaching out to a wider public, for raising awareness about the river and its ecosystem, and for disseminating key messages about the Sava River Basin’s tremendous environmental and socio-economic values. In addition to abundant natural beauty, the river basin offers outstanding biological and landscape diversity and large retention areas along the river. The basin also holds great potential for the development of economic activities, such as waterway transport of cargo and passengers, hydropower generation, tourism and recreation, as well as other activities related to the use of water.
Establishment and work of the Sava Water Council
The Sava Water Council is a standing advisory platform of the ISRBC, and consists of representatives of the NGO, academic and business sectors. The ISRBC is the only international (river or lake) basin commission thus far to have established such a stakeholder platform.