UNDP-GEF Kura II: Advancing IWRM Across the Kura River Basin

Coordination Meeting for Water Projects Implemented in Azerbaijan funded by International Donors 23 November 2017

The Coordination meeting for water projects implemented in Azerbaijan funded by international donors was held at the premises of the PCU of the UNDP-GEF Kura River II project in Baku, Azerbaijan on November 23, 2017. The meeting was attended by representatives of the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources, ENI SEIS-II Project, EU-Water Initiative Plus Project and the Kura project team.

The main objectives of the coordination meeting were to inform the participants about the ongoing activities of the UNDP-GEF Kura River II project, the EU Water Initiative+ project and the ENI SEIS-II project on Sharing Environment Information currently being implemented in Azerbaijan to build synergy and avoid overlapping of activities of parallel ongoing projects on water (EU Water Initiative Plus and UNDP GEF Kura II).

The meeting was chaired by Mr. Rashad Allahverdiyev, the National Focal Point of the Kura River II Project in Azerbaijan who welcomed the meeting participants on behalf of the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources of Azerbaijan and informed about the necessity of coordination of the on-going activities related to management of water resources and development of water supply and sanitation systems; as well as the synergies between projects in the areas concerned, implemented in Azerbaijan with support from international financial organizations (UNDP-GEF and the EU).

 Dr. Mary Matthews, CTA and Regional Project Coordinator provided information update on the implementation of the UNDP-GEF Kura II “Advancing Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) across the Kura river basin through implementation of the transboundary agreed actions and national plans” project. 

 Mr. Nihat Zal, Project Manager of the ENE SEIS-II East Project informed the meeting that as part of the European Union's regional cooperation efforts with the Eastern Partnership (EaP) framework, the European Environment Agency (EEA) started implementing phase II of the SEIS project in 2016. The project covers all six EaP countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine) and will be carried out over four (2017-2020) years. The project aims to help the countries in defining and putting in practice solutions that would enable compliance with regional/international commitments related to environmental reporting. This includes better management and use environmental information to support a regular process of environmental assessment and evidence-based decision-making.

At national level, the project is coordinated by two National Focal Points (NFP), representing the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources and the State Statistical Committee of Azerbaijan respectively.

The production of regionally comparable water indicators in accordance with EEA and UNECE implementations, with focus on indicators on water quantity (Renewable freshwater resources; Freshwater abstraction; Total water use; Household water use per capita; Water supply industry and population connected to water supply industry), and on water quality (BOD and concentration of ammonium in rivers; Nutrients in freshwater); Supporting the further development of national water portals/water information systems in line with the SEIS principles, including hands-on training to look into aspects related to online data management (data preparation, data collection, QA and QC and data dissemination) and procedures for manual and predefined quality checks and assurance.

Ms. Tatiana Efimova, Project Manager, presented the outcomes of cooperation on water management and national priorities to address challenges in the area of transboundary river basin management as identified by the EU WFD on behalf of the EUWI+ project team funded by the EU. It was noted that specific country-based capacity assessments were conducted in the inception phase of the project, resulting in the design of specific training plans.