World Bank: Climate Adaptation and Mitigation Program for Aral Sea Basin

The five Central Asian countries (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan) are among the Europe and Central Asia Region’s most vulnerable to climate change; building resilience is thus a priority for poverty reduction and shared prosperity in Central Asia. Such impacts are already being felt and are expected to intensify, with the agriculture, energy, and water sectors most at risk. Climate change challenges often transcend borders in Central Asia, calling for a concerted approach toward climate-smart development in order to achieve greater gains than could be achieved through unilateral interventions at the national level. Considering the need for collaboration on climate action, a regional program has been prepared by the World Bank in conjunction with these countries and their development partners.

The Climate Adaptation and Mitigation Program for Aral Sea Basin will provide a platform for ongoing dialogue and information exchange on climate change among Central Asian countries. It will support stakeholders at all levels—from local farmers to government agencies—to raise awareness of climate change and related appropriate responses and assist rural communities in becoming more climate resilient. Anticipated achievements include a stronger knowledge and capacity base; change in country planning programs for climate actions; increased collaboration among countries on climate- related investments; and additional resources for knowledge, capacity, and investment for regional climate and green actions.

The Climate Adaptation and Mitigation Program for Aral Sea Basin is being implemented in phases, over a five to seven-year period. The first phase (approved in November 2015) involves Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, the Executive Committee for the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea, and the Regional Implementing Agency: it is supported with US$38 million in IDA grants and credits. Preparation is already underway in the other Central Asian countries for their participation over the next two years. The program will probably attract additional resources, to help multiply impacts, and help countries replicate and scale up some of its most successful climate investments.