On July 27, 2021 at the second day of the Fourth Central Asia Climate Change Conference (CACCC-2021) "Regional Cooperation for Climate-Resilient Future" the High-level segment with the participation of heads of the national environmental authorities of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan as well as Deputy Prime Minister of the Reupblic of Tajikistan. The High-level segment was conducted the first time in the history of Central Asian climate change conferences.
This event was moderated by Mr Sulton Rakhimzoda, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea. Mr Davlatsho Gulmakhmadzoda Kurbonali, Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Tajikistan noted the importance of the conference as the platform for regional cooperation on climate change and the opportunity to coordinate at high level the position of the Central Asian countries before the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Glasgow COP-26.
Mr Magzum Mirzagaliev, Minister of Ecology, Geology and Natural Resources of the Republic of Kazakhstan mentioned in his speech the role of the Regional Environmental Centre for Central Asia as the leading regional organization on environmental cooperation and supported the idea of opening a joint pavilion of the countries of the region and a joint statement of the countries of Central Asia during COP-26. Ms Dinara Kutmanova, Chairperson of the State Committee on Ecology and Climate of the Kyrgyz Republic, touched upon the fact that CACCC-2021 is one of the preparatory meetings of the Summit of the Heads of State of Central Asia, which will be held on August 6, 2021 in Turkmenistan. Mr Bahodur Ahmadjon Sheralizoda, Chairman of the Committee on Environmental Protection of the Republic of Tajikistan, said that the countries of the region, with the support of CAREC and in close cooperation with environmental institutions, non-governmental organizations, international partners and donors, have expanded and strengthened cooperation in regional environmental processes. Mr Almaz Ballyev, Deputy Minister of Agriculture of Turkmenistan, said that Turkmenistan supports the Regional Environmental Centre of Central Asia as a knowledge center that allows to respond timely and efficiently to the environmental situation in the region and makes it possible to implement large projects on environmental protection and climate change. Mr Islombek Bokizhonov, Deputy Chairman of the State Committee of the Republic of Uzbekistan on Ecology and Environment Protection, also noted the importance of CAREC and the CAMP4ASB project as a platform for discussion and political decision-making, including with the participation of representatives of the ministries of foreign affairs and parliamentarians.
Ms Terhi Hakala, EU Special Representative for Central Asia, also took a part in the high-level segment. She mentioned in her speech the huge potential of Central Asia for the development of renewable energy sources and called on the countries of the region to adopt ambitious goals and enhance national contributions to the Paris Agreement. Ms Agi Veres, UNDP Deputy Regional Director for Europe and the CIS, also spoke about the importance for all countries to raise ambitions, adopt and implement long-term strategies with roadmaps based on a holistic approach and providing for the creation of new jobs. Mr. Guy Bonvin, Swiss Special Envoy for Water Resources in Central Asia, highlighted several aspects that determine the need for an effective fight against climate change, including responsibility to future generations who will live in a new reality. Mr. Zafar Makhmudov, Executive Director of CAREC, concluded the High-level segment and said that Central Asia is a region of unique opportunities, strong political will and it allows us to be optimistic about the climate action being taken.
After the High-level segment the Fourth Central Asian Conference on Climate Change closed its work. In the closing ceremony took part Mr Sheralizoda Bakhodur, Chairman of the Committee of Environment Protection of the Republic of Tajikistan, Mr Sulton Rakhimzoda, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea, Ms Jane Ebinger, Sector Leader for Sustainable Development in Central Asia of theWorld Bank, Mr Zafar Makhmudov, Executive Director of the Regional Environmental Centre for Central Asia. Ms. Ebinger thanked the organizers and participants and urged to remember of interests of people who affected by the consequences of climate change and that by the development and discussion of action plans to tackle the climate crisis it is important to implement them effectively and efficiently.
The Fourth Central Asian Conference on Climate Change iss organized within the framework of the "Climate Adaptation and Mitigation Program for Aral Sea Basin" (CAMP4ASB) project; it is also a continuation of the World Bank's initiative on climate change information exchange in Central Asia, which was launched in 2013. The regional component CAMP4ASB is implemented by the Regional Environmental Centre for Central Asia (CAREC) and coordinated by the Executive Committee of the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea (EC IFAS).