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November 2011

UNECE WORKSHOP TO HELP MAINSTREAM ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERNS INTO UZBEK GOVERNMENT PLANS AND POLICIES OPENS IN TASHKENT

Source: UNECE, 15.11.2011

An expert workshop to enhance understanding of the Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context, and in particular the Convention’s Protocol on Strategic Environmental Assessment, opened in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, today. The workshop, which will run from 9 to 12 November 2011, brings together 20 experts from Uzbek ministries, State committees and regional authorities to discuss opportunities for using strategic environmental assessment (SEA), especially in domestic land-use and sectoral planning in Uzbekistan.

SEA offers a good methodology to promote and improve planning processes in general, and the integration of environmental aspects into policies, plans and programmes in particular. The objective of the workshop is to help participants to apply SEA methodology effectively in their daily work and to demonstrate how SEA can be applied to plans and programmes on diverse topics, and with differing dimensions and local conditions. The workshop also aims to raise awareness of what would be involved if Uzbekistan would choose to accede to the Protocol on SEA.

The four-day workshop is designed to improve the actors’ capacities to transpose and implement international principles, standards and good practice in SEA based on practical exercises. The workshop will be facilitated by two internationally recognized experts on SEA, who will share their experience and guide the participants through a complete SEA procedure on a hypothetical spatial development plan for a “special economic zone”.

The workshop is organized in cooperation with a Global Environment Facility/ United Nations Development Programme project — “Strengthening National Capacity in Rio Convention Implementation through Targeted Institutional Strengthening and Professional Development” — and is co?funded by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE)-German Agency for International Cooperation Programme (GIZ), “Regional Dialogue and Cooperation on Water Resources Management”.

ASHGABAT AND ISLAMABAD TO SIGN BILATERAL DOCUMENTS

Source: Turkmenistan.ru, 15.11.2011

President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov will make his first official visit to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan on 14 November.

As the Turkmenistan.ru correspondent reports quoting the press service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan, during the upcoming summit the sides will discuss the state of bilateral relations and ways to enhance effective cooperation in priority areas for Turkmenistan and Pakistan, in the key sectors of national economies, as well as in the context of regional, sustainable and safe development.

The programme of the visit includes the signing of bilateral documents aimed to replenishing and strengthening the legal basis of the Turkmen-Pakistan relations, giving them new quality and content, the ministry noted.

2012 DECLARED YEAR OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT IN TURKMENISTAN

Source: Turkmenistan.ru, 15.11.2011

At its regular session held today, the Cabinet of Ministers of Turkmenistan reviewed the programme of development of Turkmenistan for 2012. In his speech, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov called the coming year a year of social development.

According to the Turkmen leader, the main areas of development will be building luxury houses, facilities for the tourism industry, as well as providing assistance to entrepreneurs in building industrial facilities.

“In addition to funds from the State Budget we will allocate extra funds from the Stabilization Fund of the Government of Turkmenistan in 2012 to successfully meet these challenges,” the President of Turkmenistan.

TURKMENISTAN RE-ELECTED PRESIDENT OF SPECA

Source: Turkmenistan.ru, 15.11.2011

The sixth session of the Governing Board of the Special Programme for the Economies of Central Asia (SPECA) was held at the conference hall of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan today. The Governing Board unanimously decided to re-elect Turkmenistan the President of the SPECA in 2012.

As the State News Agency of Turkmenistan (TDH) REPORTS, the meeting summarized the activities implemented within the framework of the SPECA since the last session of the Governing Board (October 19, 2010, Geneva), and defined the prospects for further cooperation within the framework of this programme.

The meeting heard the reports on the work of Project Working Groups, operating within the SPECA framework, namely on water and energy resources, transport and border crossing, trade, statistics, knowledge-based development, gender and economy.

The Governing Council also discussed the SPECA Work Plan for 2012-2013, including projects that are included in the Action Plan on strengthening stability and promotion of sustainable development in Afghanistan through enhancing regional economic cooperation in Central Asia.

Speaking of Turkmenistan’s presidency of in the SPECA, the meeting participants stressed that the country with its location at the strategic crossroads of transport routes of the continent plays an active role in strengthening cooperation between Central Asian states and Afghanistan. In this context, the meeting noted the active position of Turkmenistan in efforts to stabilize the situation and development in Afghanistan. In particular, the meeting stressed the importance of constructive initiatives put forward by the Turkmen leader on this issue that was widely supported by the international community.

The member countries of SPECA are Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) jointly provide overall support to the activities under this programme, the TDH said.