Dear friends and colleagues, committed to the value of water and to Central Asia, Welcome to the website of the Blue Peace Central Asia Initiative, a Swiss water diplomacy initiative aimed at supporting and strengthening regional cooperation around the sustainable management of water resources
Water is something unique: it is a very lively spirit which always flows and which cannot be stopped at any frontier. In the form of snow or rain, it starts its journey from the sky, materialising into glaciers, springs, and rivers. It reaches villages, farmers, industries, power turbines, and towns, serving human beings in their different activities along the way. That same water always flows back into the river or next lake, to serve the following community, fauna, and flora. It deserves respect, not least due to its strategic nature for sustainable socio-economic development. Water quality and availability are as such key determinants.
Central Asia is no exception to this water journey, shared by all riparian States of the major river basins of the region. This also means that the countries have a shared responsibility in terms of the development of the region, to ensure sustainable development in the face of population growth and climate change, with increasing demands for water, energy, and food security. Managing such an equation is key to ensure the stability of the region.
Today, our Blue Peace Central Asia initiative, part of the Blue Peace Movement, intends to bring its contribution to the regional water cooperation based on the river basin approach and considering water as an enabling factor for sustainable economic development and stability. Blue Peace Central Asia aims at supporting efficient water management along with the water-food-energy nexus, from the local to the regional level, incorporating the risk management resulting from climate change impacts.
Water connects most if not all aspects of the socio-economic development and geo-strategic issues of the region. This dense network, or nexus, calls for strong teamwork beyond the water sector: based on experts, economists, engineers, politicians, citizens, from the governmental sector, from the international development partners and the private sectors, from the academic spheres and the civil society. It is only by joining forces together that we can aim to reach the sustainable development goals for Central Asia.
Switzerland, as the water tower of Central and Western Europe, sharing three major rivers with its neighbours, has developed a solid experience in transboundary water management and in national and regional integrated water resources management. By its humanitarian and diplomatic tradition, Switzerland values transboundary water dialogue and peace. Therefore, water, sustainability, stability, and prosperity are key ingredients of Blue Peace Central Asia. We are all part of the water journey. We have to take care of it. For our prosperity and for the ones of the generations to come.
Ambassador Guy Bonvin, Special Envoy for Water in Central Asia