Central Asia Climate Change Conference


3-4 April 2019, Tashkent, Uzbekistan 

Concept Note


Climate change impacts are nowadays observed in all key development sectors with Central Asia to having one of the highest vulnerability levels. The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) reported 2013-2018 the warmest on record. Although the global community undertakes serious efforts to fight against climate change and adopted new global agreements (Paris Agreement in 2015 and rulebook in 2018), air temperature keeps its rising level along with the concentration of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide.

The countries of Central Asia set their climate agenda around global policy and commitments, national climate actions, mobilization of resources, transfer of new technologies and best practices both on climate adaptation and mitigation. At the same time, strengthening of policy dialogue between the countries and activation of decision-making process at the highest official level on above mentioned is the best indicator of the effectiveness of mutual cooperation.

The Central Asia Climate Change Conference 2019 (CACCC-2019) aims to bring the priorities of Central Asia into focus, and structure the content of the event into pre-conference and conference sessions. The CACCC-2019 is a continuation of the World Bank’s initiative for climate change knowledge and information exchange in Central Asia, and is organized under the frameworks of CAMP4ASB project. The previous CACCC was organized on January 24-25, 2018 in Almaty, Kazakhstan, and resulted in joint collaborative actions of many stakeholders. The findings of the CACCC-2018 are elaborated into key messages and formulated the thematic content for the CACCC-2019 programme.


The main objective of the 2019 Central Asia Climate Change Conference is to promote cooperation and partnership on climate adaptation and mitigation in Central Asia. The event also aims at fostering regional dialogue, knowledge and information exchange on climate change and help building a climate resilient future. It is also expected that the conference will give an impetus to the implementation of multi-sectoral development programs in Aral Sea basin and attract new investments to the initiatives on sustainable development in the region.

The Outcome Document in the format of a Call for Actions is expected to contain practical recommendations for the countries of Central Asia to step forward on climate adaptation measures and strengthen a multi-country partnership on climate policy.

Target audience

The Conference intends to bring more than 200 representatives from governmental and non-governmental agencies, academia, youth, development partners, multilateral development banks and CSOs that work in the area of climate change. Additionally, the Conference will strive to co-partner with national and international partners, who implement similar climate change projects in the region, to have a better synergy and provide most up-to-date information and knowledge on climate change.   

Structure and approach

Three pre-conference sessions[1] will be organized on April 2, 2019 and present key inputs to the respective introductory session.  

The first session will focus on building scientific and professional capacities for effective water resource management and climate actions. The event will be organized jointly by USAID Smart Waters project, World Bank CAMP4ASB project, World Bank Institute, as well as EU CA Nexus Dialogues project and intends to discuss current gaps; showcase relevant opportunities and ongoing initiatives in the region and beyond; to determine further needs for developing research and academic capacities in Central Asia, as well as the ways for cooperation between national academic  partners  of the region and with international scientific institutions. The pre-conference session is expected to lay down the ground to advancing the capacities of local research and academic institutions for raising climate professionals, researchers and deepening interdisciplinary approach and knowledge base on climate change and water management.

The second session, which is to be organized jointly with the National Coordination Unit (NCU) of the World Bank’s CAMP4ASB project, will focus on informing about the up-to-date progress in implementation of local climate investment initiatives, and establishment of new partnership to scale-up and replicate successful practices and technologies, which proved to be effective in the region. It is expected that the pre-conference session will determine tasks and areas of cooperation in expanding climate resilient technologies in energy, agriculture and water sectors.

The third session “One planet – one future … Empowering youth for climate actions” will be dedicated to mobilize youth voices for climate change action. The pre-conference session will engage youth from partner’s educational institutions and alumni of the Central-Asia Leadership Program on Environment for Sustainable Development (CALP). A new generation of young managers with a broader understanding of the value and benefits of regional cooperation, innovative thinking, 21st century skills and open to dialogue is a prerequisite for the successful partnership on climate change, energy efficiency and water resources in the region.

The pre-conference sessions are expected to have exhibits to demonstrate a set of best technologies and practices on climate adaptation, which proved to be effective on site. On the other hand, demo materials, including visuals and short video films will also add value to showing off the climate resilient on-ground cases.

The 2-day Central Asia Climate Change Conference will be divided into five Plenary Sessions on: (1) Climate impacts and challenges in global and regional context (2) Global climate policy and national commitments (3) Climate services (4) Climate technologies and practices (5) Climate finance.

Furthermore, during the Day 2 of the Conference, five Parallel Sessions will be conducted, which will focus on (a) knowledge platforms and communication on climate change; (b) Integrative Land Use Management Approaches (ILUMA) in Central Asia; (c) science and evidence-based water and land management solutions for strengthening climate resilience in Central Asia; (d) regional environment protection for sustainable development in the context of climate change; and (e) the role of civil society and private sector in activating climate actions in Central Asia.

[1] The program of the pre-conference session is limited to the invited participants only 

Draft Agenda
Day 1 (Wednesday): 3 April 2019 
08:00 – 09:00 Registration of participants.
09:00 – 09:40 OPENING SESSION 
Moderator: Uzhydromet (tbd)
-          On behalf of the Hosting Government
-          Heads of Delegations of Central Asian countries
-          Mr. Guizgeldi Baidzhanov, Chair of the Executive Committee, IFAS
-          Mr. Benoît Bosquet, Director for Environment and Natural Resources, the World Bank and/or Ms. Lilia Burunciuc, Regional Director for Central Asia, the World Bank 
-          Dr. Iskandar Abdullaev, Executive Director, CAREC 
Introductory session will be a short, 20-minutes session, which is dedicated to present key take away messages from pre-conference sessions, which were held on April 2, 2019, and make a virtual tour to the content of the CACCC-2019 program agenda. The main focus is to compliment the program agenda with brief inputs on (i) education and capacity building on climate resilience and water in the region, (ii) technologies and practices in CAMP4ASB participating countries of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, and (iii) the role of young people in forcing climate actions in Central Asia. 
Moderator and speaker:
-          Ms. Irina Bekmirzaeva, CAMP4ASB Regional Coordinator, CAREC
10:00 – 11:00 Session 1. Climate impacts and challenges in global and regional context
The consequences of global warming even by 1.5°C will be far dramatic than expected, and require substantial mitigation and adaptation efforts from international community. The main objective of the session is to present and discuss climate change impacts and needed joint measures to avoid worst impacts on ecosystems, built-environment, human health, and well-being. The session will be supplemented with latest scientific evidence on climate change and respective adaptation and mitigation measures in Central Asia. 
Moderator: On behalf of the Republic of Kazakhstan
10.00 – 10.40 Dr. Youba Sokona IPCC Vice-Chair: (video message) – title tbc
10.40 – 11.00 Dr. Tomas Saks, the University of Fribourg: Glaciers of Tien Shan and Pamir in a changing climate 
11:00 – 11:20  Coffee-break and group photo
11:20 – 13:00 Session 1. Climate impacts and challenges in global and regional context (cont.)
Moderator: On behalf of the Kyrgyz Republic 
11.20 – 11.35 Dr. Anastasia Lobanova, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research: Hydrological impacts of climate change in Central Asia: a glance at selected river catchments
11.35 – 11.50 Ms. Donneth Walton, ADB: Climate change impacts on economics in Central Asia (speaker and title tbc)
11.50 – 12.05 Ms. Natalia Olofinskaya, UNDP: Impact of climate change on occurrence of natural disasters in Central Asia (speaker and title tbc)
12.05 – 12.25 Dr. Vladimir Kendrovski, WHO: Climate change impacts on human health: WHO Regional and sub-regional perspectives
12.25 – 13.00 Q&A
13:00 – 14:00 Lunch (on site) 
14:00 – 16:00 Session 2. Global climate policy and national commitments
It is expected that the UNFCCC Secretariat will provide a keynote speech about global climate regime and mechanisms of the Paris Agreement’s implementation and key decisions taken at COP-24, especially focusing on the adopted rulebook. The speech will be accompanied by the statements from the side of the countries of Central Asia to highlight the progress against the given global and national climate commitments. The panel discussion would feature UNFCCC national focal point from each Central Asian country to highlight the progress made to address the commitments under the Paris Agreement and the needs, which stand at cornerstone of their national climate agenda.  
Moderator: On behalf of the Republic of Tajikistan
14.00 – 14.15 Dr. Olga Pilifosova, UNFCCC Secretariat: Global climate commitments, challenges and opportunities for Central Asia – title tbc
14.15 – 14.30 Mr. Otto Simonett, Zoi Environment Network: Scaling-up climate investments in Central Asia 
14.30 – 14.45 Ms. Paola Agostini, World Bank: Restoring Landscapes: from Wastelands to Vital Lands 
14.45 – 15.45 Panel discussion – National UNFCCC Focal Points
15.45 – 16.00 Q&A
16:00 – 16:20 Coffee-break 
16:20 – 17:45 Session 3. Climate services 
Developing and scaling climate services requires overcoming a series of challenges related to understanding of climate risks across environmental and socio-economic gradients, generating and translating climate and weather data into actionable information to support improved management practices, and timely delivery of relevant, demand driven information to businesses and service providers for energy and water. The panel discussion would feature a representative from each country familiar with the range of climate products and services currently available in their respective countries. In advance of the panel discussion, the panel will be provided by three topics relate to current and planned products and services and understanding of the demand for climate products and services in their countries. 
Moderator: Glen Anderson, Abt Associates
16.20 – 16.30 Ms. Anahit Hovsepyan, WMO: The role of climate services and products in economic development and human safety  - title tbc
16.30 – 16.45 Dr. Steven Prager, CIAT: Demand for Climate Services – Understanding the information value chain
16.45 – 17.00 Dr. Ljubov Joanna Liman, Finnish Meteorological Institute: Targeted upgrading of climate-related monitoring systems of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan
17.00 – 17.35 Panel discussion – representatives from National Delegations
17.35 – 17.45 Q&A
19:00 – 21:00  Dinner 
Day 2 (Thursday): 4 April 2019 
08:00 – 09:00 Registration for Parallel Session  
09:00 – 10:45 Session 4. Climate technologies and practices
The Central Asian countries are endowed with diverse agro-climatic zones and natural resources. The multiple pilot projects on introducing climate-smart approaches towards management of natural resources have been carried out up to date, with the help of number of international and regional networks and institutions. While the knowledge base on these practices should be further enlarged, there is a need for up-scaling integrated natural resource management and climate smart practices in the region. The session aims to initiate a dialogue among practitioners and policy-makers in Central Asian region through informing them on multiple benefits of holistic approaches towards natural resources management. 
Moderator: On behalf of Turkmenistan
09.00 – 09.30 Mr. Selvaraju Ramasamy, FAO, Keynote Speech: Climate technologies and practices: Advances, opportunities and challenges for up-scaling 
09.30 – 09.45 Dr. Ram Sharma, CGIAR Regional Program for Central Asia and the Caucasus: Collaborative work of ICARDA on climate-resilient technologies for improved land and water productivity in Central Asia
09.45 – 10.00 Mr. Ilhom Nozimov, Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Tajikistan and Mr. Shohrukh Shoakhmedov, Agroindustry and Food Security Agency under the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan: Popular climate resilient technologies and practices at the community level in Central Asia
10.00 – 10.15 Mr. Julian Schlubach, GIZ: Ecosystem based adaptation – concept and challenges along the Amu Darya river basin
10.15 – 10.30 Mr. Rajiv Garg, CTCN: Opportunities to access climate resilient technologies for Central Asian countries – title tbc
10.30 – 10.45 Q&A
10:45 –11:00 Coffee-break  
11:00 – 13:00 Session 5. Climate finance  
The global climate finance architecture has increased over the past decade both in size and complexity, with financing being offered through multiple multilateral funds, bilateral channels and private capital markets. This session aims to cover on prerequisites for accessing climate finance from international funds, to exchange experiences on implementation of financing programs in countries of Central Asia and beyond, and to capture on emerging financial instruments and tools available for farmers and entrepreneurs. The panel discussion would feature a representative from Central Asian country familiar to highlight about climate investments, which had been channeled to their countries over the past year and needs in further resource mobilization. Questions will be prepared and shared with the panel in advance. 
Moderator: Ms. Kseniya Lvovsky, World Bank 
11.00 – 11.15 Keynote speech: GCF
11.15 – 11.30 Ms. Virginie Marchal, OECD: Financing Climate Futures: Aligning infrastructure investment with climate and development goals in Central Asia
11.30 – 12.00 Glen Anderson and Lorine Giangola, Abt Associates: Public and private sector climate financing options for Central Asia
12.00 – 12.15 Mr. Olivier Langrand, Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund: Financing biodiversity conservation in the mountains of Central Asia through the Critical Ecosystems Partnership Fund (CEPF)
12.15 – 12.45 Panel discussion – National delegations
12.45 – 13.00 Q&A 
13:00 – 14:00 Lunch (on site)
During the proposed session, five parallel sessions will be conducted. They aim to add value on to the topics of the plenary sessions. Upon the completion of the parallel sessions, moderators will provide summaries with key messages to the Conference Secretariat, to be further integrated to the Call for Actions.
PS 1: Knowledge platforms and communication on climate change (CAREC)
This session showcases possible modes of information sharing between different stakeholders in climate research and planning, discusses needs for mobilizing scattered knowledge sources and outreaching all users, demonstrates effective ways of ‘translating’ the information into effective messages and presents ongoing relevant initiatives in Central Asia and beyond.
PS 2: Integrative Land Use Management Approaches (ILUMA) in Central Asia (GIZ)
The main objective of the event is to introduce a conceptual framework for integrative land use management approaches (ILUMA) that can be applied in Central Asia. This conceptual framework is based on more than 10 years of practical, on-the-ground experience in all five Central Asian countries.
PS 3: Science and evidence-based water and land management solutions for strengthening climate resilience in Central Asia (IWMI, ICARDA, TIIAME, CAREC)
The main objective of the parallel session is to bring together a wide range of experts in the field of land and water to discuss pressing climate change issues in Central Asia and present science- and evidence-based water and land management solutions to address them.
PS 4: Regional environment protection for sustainable development in the context of climate change (ICSD Secretariat)
The main objective of the PS4 is to discuss the development of the regional environmental program for sustainable development of Central Asia (REP4SD) with the focus on climate change adaptation, which is considered one of the main thematic directions of the program, as well as to elaborate next steps towards the implementation of the REP4SD and determine a scope of tasks for the working group. 
PS 5: The role of civil society and private sector in activating climate actions in Central Asia (LLC Green Business Innovations and CSOs)
The main objective of the PS 5 is to bring civil society organizations and private sector representatives together and to share experience on climate resilient initiatives they have been undertaking in the region as well as to discuss joint collaborative measures to enforce climate actions in the countries of Central Asia.  
16:00 – 16:30 Coffee-break 
16:30 – 18:00 Session 6.  WRAP-UP, OUTCOME AND THE NEXT STEPS 
The session aims to reflect key take away messages of (i) plenary sessions and side-event discussions, and to highlight (ii) recommendations of the Call for Actions and navigate the participants to the next CACCC-2020. The closing session also envisages a sofa talk format for the international organizations and agencies, to speak about new projects or initiatives, which would drive the climate agenda in Central Asia. Targeted questions will be prepared and circulated in advance.  
Moderator: On behalf of the Republic of Uzbekistan
Proposed speakers: 
16.30 – 17.00 Key messages from side-events 
17.00 – 17.15 Recommendations of the Call for Actions 
17.15 – 17.45 Driving climate agenda in the next few years (international organizations about new and emerging regional climate initiatives)
17.45 – 18.00 Concluding remarks: Ms. Gayane Minasyan on behalf of the World Bank, Dr. Iskandar Abdullaev on behalf of CAREC and GoUz
18.00 – 18.30 Press-briefing on key findings of the CACCC-2019 for mass media