Second Technical Advisory Consultation for GGGI Aral Sea GRIP – Tashkent, 22 June

On 22 June 2022 GGGI Uzbekistan and the State Committee for Ecology and Environmental Protection (SCEEP) conducted the second 2022 Aral Sea GRIP Technical Advisory Consultation under the ‘Green Rehabilitation Investment Project for Karakalpakstan Republic to Address the Impacts of the Aral Sea Crisis’ (Aral Sea GRIP) in Tashkent. The event was honored with the presence of H.E. Mr. Narzullo Oblomuradov, Chairman, and Dr. Jusipbek Kazbekov, Deputy Chairman of SCEEP, and involved participation by 53 representatives from the Uzbekistan government and development partners, the private sector and non-governmental actors.

The first consultation round was implemented in April 2022 to discuss preliminary findings of key analytical deliverables. During this second consultation, the results and policy recommendations of the following deliverables were presented and validated: Climate Resilient Green Growth (CRGG) Assessment and Green Recovery Investment Analysis (GRIA).

The CRGG Assessment provides an analysis of the exposure of the agricultural sector of the Aral Sea Region to climate change and Sand and Dust Storms (SDS). It also assesses key multi-sectoral means for reducing sensitivity and enhancing the adaptive capacity of stakeholders. Meanwhile, the GRIA assesses the potential impact of investments in three infrastructural adaptation measures for farm protection in terms of their financial, environmental, and social benefits.

In addition, a draft analysis of the Risk Profile for disaster-related human security in Karakalpakstan was presented for consultation. The Risk Profile informs the development of Aral Sea GRIP capacity development activities.

Finally, the concept of Aral Sea GRIP’s new Business Development Platform (BDP) was presented. This innovative digital platform will create an enabling business environment for the agriculture and environmental sectors in the Aral Sea region. A forum dialogue was organized to share lessons from other existing digital platforms: the International Strategic Centre for Agri-Food Development (ISCAD), the Ministry of Water Resources, the Regional Environmental Centre for Central Asia (CAREC), and Calypso Intelligent Solutions.

In his remarks, H.E. Mr. Narzullo Oblomuradov, SCEEP Chairman, acknowledged the importance of GGGI’s technical assistance through the above-mentioned analytical deliverables, which provide evidence-based guidance for the development of the new Aral Sea Development Program led by SCEEP. He also emphasized SCEEP’s commitment to the sustainable financing of this program through the development of an Aral Sea Green Bond.

In his remarks, Dr. Jusipbek Kazbekov, SCEEP Deputy Chairman, shared his appreciation to GGGI Uzbekistan and the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) for organizing this timely and meaningful consultation. He stated that SCEEP looks forward to the development of the BDP that will bring tangible impacts to the local agricultural business in the Aral Sea region.

Dr. Aaron Russell, Country Representative, GGGI Uzbekistan, expressed his gratitude to SCEEP and KOICA for their trusted partnership. He informed participants of the upcoming High-level Aral Sea Development Forum on effective coordination mechanisms for the SCEEP-led Aral Sea Development Program and Green Bond development, tentatively planned for August 2022. The Aral Sea GRIP Project is funded by KOICA and implemented by GGGI from 2021 to 2024.