Since over a decade, Germany is actively engaged in supporting regional cooperation in Central Asia. The Berlin Process mainly focused on transboundary water management among the five Central Asian countries (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan). Enhanced stability in the region and mitigated impact of climate change on glaciers and natural resources such as water, land and soil, can contribute to improving access to food security, water availability, a healthy habitat for humans, flora and fauna.
In the context of German engagement on climate change and security within the UN and support to the new EU-Central Asia Strategy of June 2019, the German Foreign Office launched the Initiative ‘Green Central Asia’ – Enhancing environment, climate and water resilience with a ministerial conference in Berlin. There, the Central Asian foreign ministers expressed their readiness for collaboration and dialogue on climate, environment and security in the context of conflict prevention and strengthening transboundary cooperation. The already existing process was thus enlarged not only by topics for transboundary cooperation, but also geographically by including Afghanistan.
A well-established and science-based regional political dialogue on questions of environmental and climate-related security risks and corresponding capacity building could provide an even stronger basis for strengthening relationships between countries. Scientific support will be provided by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), the Helmholtz Centre Potsdam - German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ), the Martin Luther University Halle Wittenberg and the German-Kazakh University (DKU).
The aim of Green Central Asia is to improve access to information and risk analyses to enable participating countries to assess the impact of climate change more accurately and to take preventive measures. At the same time, dialogues and workshops are meant to increase the partner states´ resilience and decision-makers’ ability to adequately address security hazards resulting from climate change at national and regional level.
‘Green Central Asia’ will cooperate with other international organisations active in the area of climate and water diplomacy. Main international cooperation partners for the political dialogue will be the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), the European Union, the ‘Blue Peace’ Initiative of the Swiss Foreign Ministry, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the Central Asia Regional Environment Centre (CAREC). In close cooperation with the six partner counties, the Initiative will develop a joint action plan, which will serve as a road map for joint actions – including with international partners – for the years 2021 to 2024. The political dialogue will be accompanied by cooperating with media and by an awareness-raising on environment, climate and water resilience via social and other media.
Duration: April 2020 – March 2024