Spotlight on Water and Mountains in Tajikistan


A High-level meeting on water for sustainable development opened on 20 June 2018 in the heart of a mountainous region where the thaw of the Himalayan and Hindu Kush glaciers threatens water stability for 1.35 billion people.

The High-level International Conference on the International Decade for action “Water for Sustainable Development” was held in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. The conference was organized to mobilize efforts of the governments, UN institutions, international and non-governmental organizations, as well as other stakeholders for effective implementation of the water-related SDGs as well as objectives of the Water Decade.

 A Preconference Forum “Climate and Water Dialogue” took place on 19 June to focus on achieving and maintaining water security under current climatic variability and projected climate change, especially in vulnerable areas such as mountainous and arid regions. This event focusing primarily on high mountain areas and the issue of climate change influence to glaciers melting, underlined the importance of addressing upland and lowland linkages: how water scarcity affects the management of natural resources, agriculture, environment and the people and what are the solutions. Grammenos Mastrojeni, chair of the Mountain Partnership Steering Committee provided the keynote speech titled “Solid Solutions for a Liquid Threat,” where he discussed the role of linkages between uplands and lowlands in achieving and maintaining water security.

”None of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) can be achieved if the water cycle is disrupted. Freshwater mainly comes from mountains, if there is no water, and then there are no SDGs,” said Mastrojeni.

The event brought together various Mountain Partnerships partner presentations and discussions, to highlight frontiers, opportunities and gaps in research and scientific uncertainties, as well as policy impact on larger populations. Assessing how climate change affects sustainable development at different levels and regions, such as monitoring glaciers through remote sensing and exploring the need for creation and renewal of glacier lakes, surging glaciers and components of broad cooperation in water management were topics of discussion at the event.

Researchers, practitioners, policy and decision makers, and partners from Central Asia and worldwide, were all brought together to work in the water sector to share knowledge, best practices and ideas for a sustainable water resources management under the impacts of climate change and in line with the Water Decade.  

The outcome of the declaration of the Forum was to develop an adaptation strategy, not just for climate change but also to also provide assessment of climate change impact, for mountain ecosystems and combining this with the development of regional academic networks in order to assess the widespread climate change impact on economy, climate-change related risk, hydrological modeling and capacity building.

The Preconference forum was organized on 19 June 2018 jointly with the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the United Nations Regional Centre for Preventative Diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCCA) in cooperation with the Committee for Environmental Protection under the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), University of Central Asia, the Mountain Partnership and the Finance Centre for South-South Cooperation (China). More than 100 people, including government officials, representatives of academia, international organizations, development agencies, civil society and youth, attended the Forum.

Read more

Photo by ©MPCAH/Alma Karsymbek

Home > mountain-partnership > News