Stakeholders’ partnerships in collaborative policymaking: Fostering transboundary cooperation on small watersheds in Central Asia

Duration: April 2012 – October 2015
Project territory: Three small transboundary watersheds: Aspara (Kazakhstan-Kyrgyzstan), Isfara (Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan), Ugam (Kazakhstan-Uzbekistan)
Main donor: USAID
Agreement Number: AID-176-A-12-00007
Implementing organization: The Regional Environmental Centre for Central Asia (CAREC)


Today’s water-related problems in Central Asia are not simply rooted in an unequal distribution of water resources, but also have significant historical, political, economic and ecological dimensions.
New transboundary approaches are needed. The fully integrated management of water resources, which takes into account the interests of different sectors and ecosystems and applies the water basin principle, is gaining ground but is generally not yet the basis for national and transboundary water policies. In addition, the ongoing national and international development efforts are mostly focused on large transboundary basins and high level political dialogues among Central Asian states.
Small transboundary Rivers as a model for large transboundary basins: The suggested project will focus on three transboundary small watersheds in Central Asia to apply the principles of IWRM and to act as an opportunity to establish respective technical- and staff resources to serve as models for large transboundary basins and developing transboundary cooperation based on common trust and understanding.


Introduction of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) practices in three small transboundary watersheds and their dissemination in Central Asia.

Three Components

  • Capacity development
    • The component on capacity development foresees development of a transboundary information strategy and its implementation; conducting of trainings on IWRM principles and best water management practices; study and demonstration tours to pilot territories.
  • Piloting good practices component
    • This component includes activities: conducting baseline surveys and needs assessment studies (a review of existing data; socio-economic survey and an assessment of human- and technical capacity at local and national level for water quality monitoring in the selected transboundary watersheds); creating small transboundary basin councils in three small watersheds that will include representatives of local authorities, experts, NGOs, private water users; development of joint transboundary action plans; implementation of three local pilot projects.
  • Regional Component
    • In this component, the Regional Working Group (RWG) will be established based on the existing RWG that was established within the framework of the UNECE-CAREC project “Water quality in Central Asia”. The RWG will include representatives of ministries of environmental protection, agriculture, water resources, hydrometeorology, and emergency of the Central Asian countries. As part of the regional working group, it is envisaged to develop common approaches for implementation of best practices for efficient land and water; to discuss progress in the pilot areas; involved in selection and implementation of pilot projects.

This project is made possible by the support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The contents are the sole responsibility of CAREC and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.