Glaciers melting in Central Asia: recommendations made

21 November 2014

On 11-12 November 2014 an International Seminar on "The Impact of Glaciers Melting on National and Trans-boundary Water Systems in Central Asia", organized by UNESCO Almaty Cluster Office in cooperation with the United Nations Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCCA), the Executive Committee of the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea (EC IFAS) and the World Bank was held in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. The seminar was conducted as a follow-up to the previous seminar on glaciers melting which took place on 11-12 April 2013 in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

A number of scientists and international experts in the field of glaciology took part in the seminar held last week in Dushanbe. The Dushanbe seminar was attended by national delegations from the five Central Asia states and Afghanistan, including representatives of a range of Ministries and Agencies, as well as senior officials from various UN entities and regional organizations.

During this meeting the participants discussed a wide range of issues, including enhancing scientific and technical cooperation, addressing to regional cooperation in the field of disaster risk reduction, as well as collaboration in the sphere of education and interaction with the public. As a result, elements for an action program were proposed by the participants. This action program is expected to allow the people of the countries in the region to adapt better to the changing environment and glaciers melting, as well as to better manage water resources. The outcomes of the session, devoted to scientific research in glaciology, recommended promoting scientific cooperation between CA countries, enhancing capacity building for the local staff in research institutions and putting a joint CA glacier monitoring program in place.

The Dushanbe seminar made a contribution towards a better understanding of the present challenges in the Central Asian region with regard to issues of glaciology, climate change, and transboundary water management. It is vital to foster better understanding on the impact of climate change to glacier melting and water resources in the region.

Abramov glacier, Kyrgyzstan ©Thorben Dunse

Field study on Abramov glacier, Kyrgyzstan ©Thorben Dunse

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