Water resources management
World Water Day & UN conference
The Eastern Partner Countries celebrated World Water Day on March 22nd 2023, through a number of articles and videos highlighting local initiatives in accelerating change for water throughout the region. Azerbaijan focused on nature-based solutions to clean its lakes, Armenia organized a month-long water and air public monitoring campaign, and international cooperation was at the heart of the Moldovan, Romanian and Ukrainian initiative. Ukraine also organized the Fisher Marathon, an awareness-raising campaign that let young Ukrainian students and children participate in local water-related challenges and activities.
The UN 2023 Water Conference also took place in March, and was attended by several representatives from the Eastern Partner Countries. Iordanca-Rodica Iordanov, Minister of Environment of the Republic of Moldova, and Ruslan Strilets, Minister of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources of Ukraine discussed about further cooperation to launch a working group on the management of the Prut, Siret and Danube delta river basins within the ICPDR.
Mukhtar Babayev, Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources of Azerbaijan, exchanged with UNECE Executive Secretary Olga Algayerova on cooperation under the National Policy Dialogue under the Water Convention and SDG indicator 6.5.2.
National Policy dialogues and approximation towards the EU water acquis
Both Azerbaijan, where an updated Water Strategy document was presented for adoption by the government, and Moldova held their national policy dialogue meeting to assess their progress in the water sector and discuss the next steps in the actualisation of their water governance policies to better put the European Union water framework directive in practice.
In several Eastern Partner Countries, measures were taken to ensure that the legislations on water and water governance is better aligned with the European Union acquis. In Armenia, a draft of the national water sector data management framework and a proposal to initiate discussions on further elaboration of the framework document were sent to the Ministry of Environment. In Ukraine, a working group was also implemented in Ukraine under the Ministry of Environment in order to assess the Ukrainian legislation of environmental protection for compliance with EU law. The result of this work will be the Draft of the National Programme for the implementation of EU legislation.
Series of national and regional workshops
Several workshops also took place during the months of March and April, such as a series of workshops and webinars in Ukraine on the implementation of the Dnipro River Basin Management plan, and two workshops on transboundary monitoring of groundwater bodies between Georgia and Armenia, and Georgia and Azerbaijan.
A training on COVID-19 monitoring in wastewater took place in Moldova from 28 April to 1st March.
Several workshops took place in the Eastern Partner Countries, in order to present the European approaches to water accounting to decision-makers, as well as possible ways to improve knowledge on water use in Azerbaijan at a national level and at a cross-border level for the countries of Moldova and Ukraine. A regional webinar on water accounts gathered participants from Ukraine and Moldova during three sessions on March 1st, 7th and 9th.
Land and groundwater bodies monitoring
Both Georgia and Ukraine held a workshop on land monitoring, which focused on the national implementation of the Corine Land Cover pilot project, on the joint assessment of available global and national land monitoring data as well as on the preparation and decision on the use of High Resolution Land Cover data for national assessments in a pilot area, following the example of Moldova and Armenia.
Another workshop on the remote sensing for land monitoring also took place in Azerbaijan on April 19-20.
Environmental data collection
In Armenia and Georgia, progress has been made in implementing environmental information online portals. They will collect data submitted by various stakeholders and analyze it, in order to present it to a large audience on their websites.