On 14 June, the OSCE organized a regional workshop on energy co-operation and natural resource management in Central Asia within the context of the situation in Afghanistan. The event gathered around 30 policymakers and experts from Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan to discuss possible ways forward.
“The crisis in Afghanistan has a pronounced regional dimension, and it is important for Central Asian governments to develop joint strategies and further regional co-operation efforts to tackle common energy and environmental security challenges in the long-term”, Christian Melis, Environmental Governance Officer said.
The event offered an opportunity to present and discuss the projects’ preliminary findings, and to identify a common regional approach to mitigating the consequences of the security and humanitarian situation in Afghanistan for Central Asia. Furthermore, it elaborated an implementation roadmap for the two projects in coordination with national partners and experts.
The workshop, hosted in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, was a joint initiative of two OSCE projects. The project “Addressing vulnerabilities and improving resilience in communities in the Central Asian border regions with Afghanistan: natural resource management” focused on enhancing the resilience of border communities in Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan on natural resources management.
The second project “Strengthening Energy Sector Co-operation and Analysis in Central Asia in the Context of Afghanistan’s Energy Crisis” aims to provide up-to-date data and analysis on energy trade and cooperation, as well as developing a regional framework to help address the impact of the Afghan crisis on regional energy security.
The projects are part of the wider OSCE Response to the Implications of Afghanistan for the OSCE Region (RIAOR), launched by the OSCE Secretary General in 2021.