On June 10 2022, in Dushanbe, the Regional Environmental Center of Central Asia (CAREC) jointly with the USAID Regional Water and Vulnerable Environment Activity Project in the framework of SDC Blue Peace Central Asia Initiative and European Union project "Nexus Dialogue in Central Asia" has conducted a meeting of Network of Academic Societies’ members. This event was held in conjunction with the 2nd International High-Level Conference "Dushanbe Water Process" on the International Decade of Action "Water for Sustainable Development", 2018-2028.
The Central Asian Network of Academic Societies, comprised of over 30 leading higher education institutions in the region, was established in 2012 and is currently supported by various development partners, including SDC, the World Bank, USAID, and the European Union. The Network aims to foster cooperation and knowledge sharing among local and regional institutions and practitioners in managing water resources and addressing climate change and food security.
The meeting provided an opportunity for participants to discuss preliminary results of introducing thematic modules developed by Swiss experts into educational programs. The opportunities for joint applied research and intersectoral initiatives to integrate the water-energy-food-ecosystems approach (WEFE Nexus) into the academic environment were also outlined.
Given that linkages between academia, science, and industry are one of the main pillars for the development of contemporary education based on a systems approach, representatives of the academic community actively supported the idea of creating a Community of Practice, which could potentially become a communication and outreach platform to bring together scientists, teachers, policymakers, and other stakeholders.
The second phase of the Blue Peace project will include further maintenance and development of the Network, along with its joint coordination with other regional initiatives.