Presentation of Mr. Mutallim Abdulhasanov, Head of Division of Water Resources Management of the Ministry of Ecology and
Natural Resources of Azerbaijan ©UNECE
More than 45 participants joined the 9th meeting of the Steering Committee of the National Policy Dialogue on Integrated Water Resources Management in the Republic of Azerbaijan held in Baku and online on 29 April 2021.
The meeting focused on discussing recent progress in modernising national water policy, river basin management planning, extending monitoring capacities and access to water supply and sanitation, as well as enhancing transboundary cooperation in Azerbaijan. As the EUWI+ programme is completing the current phase of implementation, the meeting offered an opportunity to address remaining tasks in conjunction with the priorities and activities of the country-specific work programme, as well as discussed next steps towards ensuring sustainability of the results and reflected on further needs and priorities in the water sector beyond EUWI+.
Presentation of Mr Alisher Mamadzhanov, Environmental Affairs at United Nations ©UNECE
Meeting participants were welcomed by Mr. Rauf Hajiyev, Deputy Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources of the Republic of Azerbaijan, by Mr. Rainer Freund, Program Manager of the EU Delegation to Azerbaijan and on behalf of the EUWI+ Implementing Partners by Mr. Alexander Zinke, Senior Project Coordinator of Environment Agency Austria.
Mr. Mutallim Abdulhasanov, Head of Division of Water Resources Management of the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources and the Chair of the Steering Committee of the National Policy Dialogue chaired the meeting.
Some highlights of the discussion include:
- The National Water Strategy and the associated work plan, stressing the need for the soonest adoption of the documents.
- Successful reporting under the Water Convention and SDG 6.5.2 and implementation of the Water Convention requirements, and the remaining gaps in transboundary water cooperation.
- National priorities in the drinking water supply and sanitation sector under the Protocol on Water and Health and response measures for COVID-19 pandemic.
- Procurement and installation of monitoring equipment and laboratory accreditation.
- Monitoring procedures, pilot surveys and trainings for surface, coastal and ground waters
- Participative development of the RBMP on Kura upstream of Mingachevir dam, and in this regard the required legal and institutional reforms to fully operationalize the river basin management principle.
- Capacity development and communication activities to support the water sector reform.
Experts representing both Azerbaijan and EUWI+ implementing partners (Austria, France, OECD and UNECE) exchanged their views on future needs and country priorities in the water governance domain after 2021.
Participants expressed their appreciation of support provided by the European Union and implementing partners under the EUWI+ programme and stressed importance of continuation of this work during the next stage of the programme.
Participants to the National Policy Dialogue for Azerbaijan, 29 April 2021 ©UNECE