International Alert, ARGO, and Yuksalish celebrate successful completion of "Regional Constructive Dialogue on Climate Change in Central Asia" project
On 22 November 2023 the final event to announce the successful culmination of the project “Regional Constructive Dialogue on Climate Change in Central Asia” was held in Almaty.
“Regional Constructive Dialogue on Climate Change in Central Asia” is implemented by International Alert in partnership with the Association for the Development of Civil Society (ARGO) and the nationwide movement “Yuksalish” with the financial support of SIDA. The project is aimed at the reduction of tensions related to natural resource management, promote understanding of climate change impacts, and foster cooperation and dialogue on peace-promoting climate change adaptation in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.
During the first phase of the project, an analysis on key environmental issues in border areas between the three countries and undertook inclusive field research into the environmental situation and its impact on conflict dynamics was conducted.
Throughout the second phase of the project, International Alert, ARGO, and Yuksalish implemented a range of activities including capacity-building workshops, knowledge-sharing events, and local-level dialogues. By bringing together representatives from various sectors, including government officials, civil society organizations, local communities, and academia, the project aimed to create a conducive environment for joint problem-solving and sustainable solutions.
Shakirat Toktosunova, International Alert Central Asia Director, said: “With this project we were able to create a regional platform for the cooperation and experience exchange. During our working group meetings, we exchanged the information, opinions, promoted our ideas within the agenda of good neighborhood and cooperation. Climate change is an inevitable process. To address the issue there is a need in adaptation programs. In this regard the engagement of the local governments, communities, grassroot organizations, and activists play an important role on the regional level.”
Shamshod Yunusov, Head of International Cooperation at Yuksalish, said: “It is necessary to draw attention to the climate change, as it is of great importance for the future of Uzbekistan and its citizens. Climate stability and access to resources are fundamental elements of security, and the challenges associated with climate change should not be underestimated or ignored. Understanding and recognizing this challenge will help us to develop climate sensitive strategies and take measures to adapt to changing climate conditions and protect our country and its people.”
The final event provided a platform to showcase the outcomes achieved during the second phase of the project implementation. Participants had the opportunity to share learns from one another’s experiences, engage in constructive discussions, and celebrate the positive impact generated by their collective efforts.
Farkhod Abdurakhmanov, International Alert Country Director in Tajikistan, said: “The implementation of the project has been a source of inspiration and support for people who were previously struggling. Through even very small grants, the beneficiaries were able to access resources and training that helped them realize their capacity and create stability in their lives. Promoting innovative and affordable projects like these is sometimes much more meaningful than for a few million… The project has truly been able to transform people’s lives and to promote the economic growth”.
Kaisha Atakhanova, Programme Director at ARGO, said: “I was very happy when I saw our grantees from different countries, villages, communities telling their personal stories that our grants (even though they were small), even if they were not much, but they showed that even small things can be beautiful, even small things can change their lives. And that is very much inspiring and admirable.”
This project has played a pivotal role in promoting greater understanding of climate change impacts, empowering communities to tackle challenges related to natural resource management and encouraging the development of self-sustained cooperation and dialogue. By enhancing resilience to climate change and fostering mutual trust, the project aims to contribute to long-term peacebuilding efforts in Central Asia.
Independent expert Vadim Ni said: “It is only through broadening the range of actors, media, political scientists, conflictologists, in the climate change dialogue, that we will be able to bring attention and relevance to the topic of the increasing importance of climate change in the context of security.”
As we mark the successful conclusion of the “Regional Constructive Dialogue on Climate Change in Central Asia” project, we remain dedicated to continuing the collaborative work initiated through this initiative. By harnessing the power of dialogue, understanding, and cooperation, we are confident in our ability to build a more sustainable and resilient future for Central Asia.
About International Alert
International Alert is an independent peacebuilding organization that works collaboratively with partners around the world to prevent and resolve violent conflict. With over 30 years of experience, International Alert strives to build inclusive, peaceful, and sustainable societies.
The Kazakhstan Association for Civil Society Development “ARGO” is a non-profit organization committed to strengthening civil society, promoting democracy, and facilitating sustainable development in Kazakhstan.
The Nationwide Movement of Uzbekistan “Yuksalish” is a think tank dedicated to fostering civic engagement, promoting social cohesion, and advancing the wellbeing of communities in Uzbekistan.