A workshop on transboundary groundwaters in Central Asia and Caucasus, organized by United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Centre in Astana, was held from 27 to 28 May 2009 in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
The aim of the workshop was to review information on transboundary groundwaters in Central Asia and Caucasus collected in the first workshop held in 2007.
Participants were expected to agree about provision of groundwater data for a UNESCO-led inventory from the countries and identify possible follow-up activities on transboundary groundwaters that could be initiated in the region, possibly in cooperation with development partners. At the workshop, 30 experts from Central Asia and Caucasus have reviewed the state of knowledge on the basis of the information provided by experts from each country, offering a possibility for experts of bordering countries to compare information on each shared aquifer.
"Cooperation and exchange of information among States sharing an aquifer is a prerequisite for adequate assessment of transboundary aquifers and their sound management" said Ms Tarja Virtanen, the Head of UNESCO Almaty Cluster Office.
To address this need for information, the compilation of the regional Central Asia-Caucasus inventory is carried out within the framework of the International Shared Aquifers Resource Management Programme (ISARM) initiative, to be included in UNESCO's world inventory of transboundary groundwaters. This collection of groundwater information is also a part of the organizers' contribution to UNECE's 2nd Assessment of the status of transboundary waters in the UNECE region, to be presented at the seventh Ministerial Conference tentatively scheduled for 2011 in Kazakhstan. More information on UNESCO's activities regarding Transboundary aquifers of Central and Eastern Asia is available on the ISARM portal.