Tashkent Team Supports Central Asian Countries in UN Project

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A team of faculty and staff at Webster Tashkent has recently completed a project in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme titled “Policy action for climate security in Central Asia.” The project involved developing a political economy analysis of climate security policy action in Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan. The analysis merges international experience with local realities, practices, and culture, providing assessments regarding stakeholders, decision-maker coordination, the possible role of private-public partnership, as well as issues of getting the public informed and involved. It was designed for use by key decision-makers to enhance preparation for COP26 UN Climate Change Conference, a cornerstone event to be held this November by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and hosted by the United Kingdom and Italy.

Webster’s team was led by professor Gordana Pesakovic, and included staff members Madina Rajapova and Kamola Abdurasulova, as well as faculty Hazbo Skoko, Sonila Sonila, Muzaffar Aripkhojayev and Deniza Alieva. The project was coordinated by UNDP lead for national and regional project implementation, Aleksandr Merkushkin.

We feel very honored and proud to be given this opportunity to work on the project that has such an important goal

“The project suggested a roadmap for each stakeholder relevant to climate change policy in Uzbekistan: government, civil society, educational sector, media, global stakeholders,” said Pesakovic. With this document, the governments of Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan will be able to review their efforts to work toward achieving their nationally determined contributions (NDCs), which are self-determined goals contributing to a net growth in global temperature of 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit).

Each Paris Agreement signatory is expected to update its NDCs every five years, and this year they will be presented at COP26. Thus, the political economy analysis conducted by Webster faculty and staff will support the success of the delegations of Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan in representing their nations’ interests during discussions at COP26.

Aside from being a tool to prepare for COP26, the document will provide decision-makers in the Central Asian region with enhanced technical and scientific data to enact climate security policy. The term “climate security” refers to ecological, political, economic, social, and other risks that stem from global climate change, highlighting the necessity for a holistic approach to climate policy.

Merkushkin explained that now is the time for cooperation on this issue of paramount importance. “COVID-19-induced social, economic, and political developments create an opening for potential to learn from each other on joint adaptation and mitigation priorities and implementation strategies. More regional dialogue is required to create synergies and complementarities across such actions as [UN Green Climate Fund] Readiness programmes, experience sharing, innovation and knowledge management.”

This was the first project completed by Webster Tashkent for the UNDP. “We feel very honored and proud to be given this opportunity to work on the project that has such an important goal,” said Pesakovic.

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