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The project “Promoting IWRM and Fostering Transboundary Dialogue in Central Asia” aims to support more sustainable and efficient management of water resources in the region as well as to enhance cooperation between the states on water management-related issues through interventions at the national level (mainly Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan), and at the transboundary level (mainly Kazakhstan).

  • This project builds upon earlier initiatives in the partner countries, leveraging successful projects and experiences to further advance the principles of Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM).
  • It is implemented by the UNDP Bratislava Regional Center through its Regional Office in Almaty as well as the UNDP Country Offices in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan.
  • The total budget of the project is USD 5.4 million, including in-kind contributions. The financing partners are the European Union, contributing EUR 1.5 million, Finland and ENVSEC.
Project Components/Initiatives

Photo by Christoph Chenevier


UNDP’s overarching strategic approach in the Central Asian water sector is to tackle issues of transboundary water (the use and allocation of water that crosses at least one political boundary) by focusing on non-divisive, mutually beneficial and concrete action at the national or local level. In addition to the immediate aim of improving the actual living conditions for people on the ground, the longer-term goal is to gradually build national capacities and information bases, thus faciltiating governments' willingness to tackle more complex, transboundary aspects over time. This project consists of four components:

National Component: Transboundary Dialogue and Cooperation in the Ili-Balkhash Basin

The Ili-Balkhash basin is located within Kazakhstan, China, and, partly, Kyrgyzstan. The Ili River Basin provides about 80% of the total inflow to the Balkhash Lake. Agriculture, hydro-power engineering, population growth, and increased industrial pollution negatively affect the basin's ecology and threaten the existence of the lake. As a result, it is essential to take joint measures for establishing the institutional and political foundation for a sustainable management of the river basin.

Click here to learn more about the Kazakh national component.


National Component: Development and Implementation of IWRM Strategy in Kyrgyzstan

The objective is primarily to develop and implement IWRM and water efficiency strategies at the national and basin levels. The project simultaneously focuses on IWRM governance and institutional reform processes, as well as on concrete interventions to improve irrigated agriculture and the living conditions of people in rural areas, with special attention to water supply, sanitation, and energy service delivery (through small-scale hydro-power). Interventions include cooperative activities in selected transboundary river basins aimed to demonstrate IWRM principles and their implementation at local and basin levels.

Click here to learn more about the Kyrgyz national component.

National Component: Development and Implementation of IWRM Strategy in Tajikistan

This project supports the development of a national IWRM plan for Tajikistan and generally promotes the linkage with similar on-going activities as well as transboundary dialogue and coordination in Central Asia. The overall project goal is to establish national processes and institutional mechanisms for water management in Tajikistan, as well as strengthen transboundary dialogue, information sharing and regional coordination in order to strategically plan, manage and utilize water resources in an integrated and efficient manner.

Click here to learn more about the Tajik national component.

Regional Component: Promoting IWRM and Fostering Transboundary Dialogue in Central Asia

At the regional level, the project is aimed at providing a platform for regional dialogue on IWRM, complemented by capacity building measures – a joint IWRM training plan with several partners and initiatives is under preparation – knowledge management and experience exchange support, as well as coordination interventions. This project is being implemented in close cooperation with the UNDP-Uzbekistan project on IWRM, in order to stimulate the regional perspective and transboundary cooperation in shared basins.

Project Area

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