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Sadyr Japarov raises issue of water shortage at SPECA summit

The President of the Kyrgyz Republic spoke at the summit of Heads of State of the UN Special Programme for the Economies of Central Asia (SPECA) in Baku.

Sadyr Japarov touched upon the problem of water shortage for the population and agriculture.

According to him, the Kyrgyz Republic, as a mountainous country without access to the sea, is most susceptible to climate change in the Central Asian region.

«Our centuries-old glaciers in the Tien Shan are irreversibly melting and disappearing every year. We are increasingly experiencing serious problems with water shortages for the population and agriculture, the hydropower sector is experiencing difficulties, and weather and climate conditions are changing towards an increase in the average annual temperature in summer and winter. Kyrgyzstan is actively working on the rational use of water and energy resources and the development of energy saving,» he said.

Kyrgyzstan has almost half of the region’s water resources, and although hydropower potential is estimated at 142,500 billion kilowatt-hours per year, the country currently uses only 13 percent of it.

«According to World Bank estimates, analysis and forecasting of the hydrological cycle, the introduction of modern and digital technologies and water saving systems, and the development of renewable energy sources are extremely important for effective water resource management. Today we have all come to understanding that the transition to a green economy, adaptation to climate change, and sustainable use of water and natural resources is dictated not only by global trends, but also by vital necessity. To achieve green goals, our country plans to implement specific measures for transition to renewable energy sources. The construction of dozens of small hydroelectric power stations has already begun in Kyrgyzstan. An agreement was also reached on the construction of Kambarata HPP 1 with a capacity of 1,860 megawatts jointly with Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan,» the head of state added.

The implementation of this major energy project will help ensure energy stability in all three countries.

According to the president, implementation of these promising projects will provide not only Kyrgyzstan, but also other countries in the region with environmentally friendly electricity, strengthening energy security and contributing to the stability of the energy supply, water supply and irrigation systems.

In order to effectively preserve mountain ecosystems and glaciers, in 2022, on the initiative of the Kyrgyz Republic and Italy, the UN General Assembly resolution «Sustainable Mountain Development» was unanimously adopted. This document proclaimed 2023-2027 as a five-year period of action for the development of mountain regions. With the support of the Mountain Partnership of FAO, UN agencies and other international organizations, a global action plan has been developed.

«This plan can become a new format for close interaction between mountainous countries, international organizations and UN institutions to draw attention to the problems of mountainous countries and their solutions. In the context of climate change, reduction and vulnerability of water resources, in order to ensure peace, stability and development of the region, we urge you to support the efforts of Kyrgyzstan for the sustainable development of mountain regions and the protection of the zone of formation of water resources in Central Asia,» Sadyr Japarov concluded.

The UN Special Programme for the Economies of Central Asia (SPECA) was established on March 26, 1998 by the Tashkent Declaration. The document was signed by the presidents of the Central Asian countries and the executive secretaries of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).