Experts: Water problem in Central Asia - inability to find compromise
Azerbaijan, Baku, June 10 /Trend, V.Zhavoronkova/
Water problem in
Central Asia is not a shortage of water, but the inability of the region to find a compromise, experts say.
"I think the biggest problem is the inability of the region to negotiate and reach consensus, rather than lack of water," said the independent Central Asian expert on water issues
Dushanbe hosts an international conference entitled "Water for Life", which started in the
Tajik capital on June 8. During three days more than 500 people - representatives of 80 UN member countries, representatives of 20 UN agencies, as well as 65 international and regional organizations discussed the water problems.
The issue of distribution of the water resources is extremely urgent in the Central Asian region. The large volume of water resources in Central Asia forms on the territory of Tajikistan and
Kyrgyzstan, and then goes to Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. Of the three countries that receive water from Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, the most serious shortage of water resources affects Uzbekistan. According to official statements made by the country's government, there is a shortage of water for irrigation in its territory.
"As one of the countries having richest water resources, Tajikistan uses only about 10 percent for domestic needs, and the remaining water flows to the lower reach countries, which is mainly used for irrigation," Tajik President
Emomali Rakhmon said in his speech at the forum in Dushanbe.
The President also proposed to declare 2012 the International Year of Water Diplomacy that will promote cooperation and dialogue, new approaches to resolving water relations.
However, it is early to speak about the full resolution of water problems in the region, experts say.
According to German expert on environmental issues Jörg Dinkelaker, to resolve this issue in the near future will not succeed.
"I do not see rapid compromise in dealing with many disputable issues, but it [forum] is one more step forwards that direction,"
Dinkelaker said, Deutsche Welle reported.
According to experts, a number of important steps must be taken to come closer to solving the water problem in the region.
According to Leonid Gusev, Senior Fellow at the Institute of International Studies of the Russian Foreign Ministry's Moscow State Institute of the International Relations, the main issue in resolving the so-called water problem is the agreement between the countries.
"I think that it needs to reach an agreement between the leaders of these states, for which the mechanisms of the
SCO, CICA can be used, as well as Kazakhstan be involved as a mediator," Gusev wrote in an e-mail to Trend.
According to the expert, as this problem has a long history, it will not be successful to solve it at once and consecutive steps are necessary to ultimately reach an agreement.
According to Karayev, the primary measure could become a diplomatic move by Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, and a regional meeting to resolve differences.
"A lot of myths and rumors fanned by the media have accumulated throughout the region regarding the lack of water and the intentions of countries with large potential for hydropower resources, Karayev told Trend by e-mail. - It is necessary to disperse these myths and rumors."
Karayev also believes that it needs to attract international organizations to solve this problem.
He said the intervention of regional and international organizations or neutral countries, which could bring all parties to the negotiating table, is necessary.