Strengthening the Resilience and Reducing Vulnerabilities of Central Asia in Response to Glaciers Melting: Two Regional Project Proposals are Discussed in Almaty

26 July 2019

The UNESCO Office in Almaty, in cooperation with the International Hydrological Programme (IHP) and in coordination with the UNDP Istanbul Regional Hub, organized a meeting to develop activities related to climate change impacts on melting glaciers, and particularly to strengthen the resilience by reducing vulnerabilities of Central Asian countries in response to glaciers melting. The event focuses on two UNESCO project proposals, approved for the funding by the Adaptation fund and GEF-UNDP, and takes place in Almaty, Kazakhstan, on 24 26 July 2019.

The meeting discusses two projects, notably:

Reducing vulnerabilities of populations in the Central Asia region from glacial lake outburst floods (GLOFs) in a changing climate (Adaptation Fund);

Strengthening the resilience of Central Asian countries by enabling regional cooperation to assess high-altitude glacio-nival systems to develop integrated methods for sustainable development and adaptation to climate change (GEF-UNDP).

Opening ceremony UNESCO Almaty

The meeting brought together about 45 participants: representatives of GEF national focal points and designated authorities for the Adaptation Fund in Central Asian countries, relevant governmental entities in the region as well as scientific institutions, international organizations and partners.

Plenary session UNESCO Almaty

Specifically, the first day of this event was dedicated to discuss the activities outlined in the GLOFs project funded by the Adaptation fund, which will present the key project components, the outcomes of the national and community consultations undertaken during the project preparation phase, next steps and the project implementation mechanisms.

The second day focuses on the discussion of main elements of the GEF-UNDP-UNESCO project among the representatives of Central Asian countries, scientists, GEF project focal points, and other stakeholders. The meeting is expected to come up with an outline and timeline of the full-scale project document.

Presentation of UNESCO-IHP UNESCO Almaty

A field trip will be organized after the two-days workshop, in cooperation with Kazakhstan national agency on mudflow protection and the Institute of Geography of Kazakhstan. During the field trip the participants are expected to get acquainted with the consequences of mudflows in vicinities of Almaty, visit a mudflow protection dam and familiarize themselves with the work of Kazakh authorities as well as scientific institutions in addressing risks from mudflows, including those that originate from GLOFs.

Discussion UNESCO Almaty

It is expected that the meeting will provide an opportunity to develop more synergies between the two projects, understanding among the participants on the rationale of the two projects, discuss the needs and gaps on the topic of the project, and address the concerns and needs of the participating countries to be considered during the implementation of the project activities.

Contact: Kristine Tovmasyan, UNESCO Almaty at; Anil Mishra, UNESCO IHP at


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