Water sector reforms in Tajikistan: Innovations and Scientific Research Cluster on IWRM to be opened in Dushanbe
Tajikistan ranks first among the countries of Central Asia in terms of the reserves of water resources. And in terms of hydro-energy reserves - it has one of the first places in the world. It should be noted that sustainable water resources management is one of the priority directions of development in the country. Currently, the implementation of the Water Sector Reform Program is continuing in Tajikistan (2016-2025). The main objective of this program is to create the foundation of decentralization in the water management system through the introduction of the Integrated Water Resources Management. Training of highly qualified specialists is also in the focus.
On March 5, in order to strengthen the institutional and technical capacity, the Ministry of Energy and Water Resources of Tajikistan, the Tajik Agrarian University named after Shirinsho Shohtemur and CAREC signed a memorandum. One of the main areas of work will be the creation of the Innovations and Scientific Research Cluster on Integrated Water Resources Management.
“An innovative approach is most important. We hope that CAREC, which already has experience in this direction, will help us create such cluster in Tajikistan, ”said Mr Sulton Rahimzoda, First Deputy Minister of Energy and Water Resources of Tajikistan.
One of the goals of the cluster will be the strengthening of water professionals capacity. In particular, the preparation of engineering, technical, pedagogical and working personnel in the fields directly related to the use of natural resources. The Innovations and Scientific Research Cluster on IWRM in Dushanbe will promote the development of distance education and hold regular meetings to share knowledge and best practices.
The activity of the cluster will also include promoting the scientific and innovative approach. Dr Iskandar Abdullaev, CAREC Executive Director, also noted that it is necessary to develop critical thinking and innovative research skills: “In the 21st century, development issues cannot be considered separately from the development of science and education. Only integrated and innovative solutions can ensure long-term development.”
The cluster will be opened in March 2020, on the basis of the Hydromeliorative Faculty of the Tajik Agrarian University (TAU). The faculty has a separate educational building; equipped laboratories; computer rooms and geo-information centre.
“Currently, science is one of the priority areas for development. This cluster will help us to introduce the advanced educational technologies from the developed countries into the educational process,” said Mr Amonullo Salimov, rector of the Tajik Agrarian University.
The memorandum signed between the Ministry of Energy and Water Resources of Tajikistan, the Tajik Agrarian University and CAREC also suggest working on fundraising. The parties intend to work together to develop proposals for mutually beneficial projects.
“Creation of innovation clusters in the countries of Central Asia will make the work of CAREC more efficient. By combining the experience of CAREC and the scientific potential of universities, creating a new generation of young scientists, we can solve environmental protection and sustainable development issues more successfully, ”said Dr Iskandar Abdullaev, CAREC Executive Director.
It's worth noting that CAREC plans to open Innovations and Scientific Research Clusters in all countries of Central Asia. The first began its work in June 2018 in Tashkent.