The second phase of the Regional Coordination and Support for the EU-Central Asia enhanced Regional Cooperation on Environment, Climate Change and Water (WECOOP2) project was launched by the European Union (EU) in August 2016.
It intends to continue strengthening the dialogue and sustainable development between the Central Asia partners, and to facilitate their cooperation with the EU on environment and climate change, from the project office in Astana, Kazakshtan, and the national contact points in each of the five partner countries working in close coordination with one another.
More specifically, the project efforts will concentrate on improving and rationalising policies and expanding the capacities of national ministries and government agencies active in this area. The project also seeks to enhance regional cooperation and engage the Central Asian partners in closer cooperation on environment protection and climate adaptation with the EU, in particular through the EU-Central Asia Environment and Water Cooperation Platform and the Working Group on Environment and Climate Change (WGECC) chaired by the Italian Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea.
The EU and Central Asia government representatives agreed at the Milan High Level Conference on Environment and Water Cooperation in October 2015 to introduce positive economic and other incentives to consume and produce sustainably, regularly assess environmental impact of sectoral policies, develop adequate infrastructure, mobilise relevant financing, strengthen compliance monitoring and legislation enforcement and raise societal awareness on sustainable development.
Throughout the project duration, up to January 2019, the EU and the Central Asian countries will be meeting at WGECC sessions to update the partners on national efforts in the area of environment protection and climate change mitigation and agree on joint actions.
The project is funded by the European Union and implemented by the consortium led by MWH, now part of Stantec, including as consortium partners the Austrian Environment Agency, Umweltbundesamt, and the Regional Environmental Centre for the Caucasus, REC Caucasus.