Training on International water law held in Bishkek
On September 19-20, a training on international water law was held in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. The event was organized within Smart Waters ("Water, Education and Cooperation") project which is being implemented by the Regional Environmental Centre for Central Asia with the support of USAID. The training was aimed at the introduction to basic principles of international water law.
Participants expanded their visions in the field of international and national water legislation, studied international practice, legal foundations and mechanisms of water law. The event was designed for specialists of ministries, government agencies, academic institutions and public organizations of Kyrgyzstan. The representatives of the Kyrgyz side of the Kurkuroо, Padysha-Ata, Isfara, Aspara and Isfana-Aksuu Small Basin Councils (SBCs), and other interested national partners also took part in the training.
Opening remarks were made by the representative of the Department of Water Resources and Land Reclamation of the Ministry of Agriculture, Processing Industry and Reclamation of the Kyrgyz Republic, Ms Ainura Toktonalieva, and the Director of CAREC Branch in the Kyrgyz Republic, Mr Meder Seitkasymov. Ms Toktonalieva noted the positive cooperation with CAREC on basin planning and implementation of IWRM issues in the country.
Invited trainers were the international expert Ms Zaki S. Schubber, lecturer of the "Law and Water Diplomacy" direction of the UNESCO IHE Delft Institute for Water Education, and the national expert Mr Abdybai Dzhailoobaev, the regional coordinator of the "Global Water Partnership for Central Asia and Caucasus".
The intensive two-day training program started with the introduction in international water law by Ms Zaki Schubber. The expert described sources of law, evolution, principles, as well as international legal acts of a global character in the sharing and management of transboundary water resources. Special attention was paid to international organizations, institutions and their role in the formation of norms and principles for the use and protection of transboundary water bodies. Mr Abdybai Dzhailoobaev presented the legislation of the Kyrgyz Republic in the field of water resources use. The expert also talked about the national water law and its connection with international water law.
The second day lecturers and participants of the training devoted to the study of regional water cooperation topics, the practice of legal regulation of transboundary watercourses and water diplomacy. Mr Abduvali Khamraev, Mayor of Isfana city and Chairman of Isfana-Aksuu SBC said: "The training provided an opportunity for an open dialogue, taking into account the opinion of local partners and specialists on essential issues of water resources management and use."
The topics discussed aroused great interest of the audience. Within two days intensive discussions were held on the evolution of international water law, the impact of climate change on water management, and possibilities for national cadres on education in the sphere of water law. Participants shared their experience, offered their recommendations on the prospect consideration of topics in the future. It was also proposed to continue the study of international and national water law.