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ENVSEC Management Board meeting

Vienna, Austria - 14 April 2016

On 14 April 2016, ENVSEC partners will meet in Vienna to discuss the developments over the past 6 months, plan new projects and determine a way forward for ENVSEC in terms of programmatic activities, partnerships, and focus areas.

ENVSEC Briefing for OSCE delegations

14 April 2016

Using the opportunity of OSCE's Chairmanship in ENVSEC in 2016 and the Management Board meeting scheduled for 14 April, on the same day an ENVSEC briefing for OSCE delegations will be organized, focusing on ENVSEC highlights and success stories such as: disaster risk reduction and climate change; sustainable mining; transboundary water co-operation; and environmental good governance.

ENVSEC Management Board teleconference

- 09 December 2015

Final Management Board teleconference of 2015. The Chair will update partners on the current state of affairs in ENVSEC. A more detailed update to follow.

Launch of the Geneva Science-Policy Platform for Environment and Security

17 November 2015

Ambassadors and Permanent Representatives of countries accredited at the UN in Geneva, as well as distinguished members of the international academia, attended the launch event of the Geneva Science-Policy Platform on Environment and Security, hosted jointly by the Environment and Security Initiative (ENVSEC) represented by the UN Environment Programme and the University of Geneva. The launch event provided an opportunity for the policy-making and academic community to discuss the implications of climate change on European and global security. The newly established platform will serve as a network supplying knowledge and technical expertise for new approaches to confront existing and emerging challenges in the field of environment and security. It will establish continuous dialogue between scientists and policymakers to generate new ideas and methodologies to implement new solutions that facilitate environmental cooperation. The Platform will meet on an annual basis to address existing and emerging environmental risks and tensions in the overall context of global issues. For more information see link below
GSPP Launch

Central Asia Regional Consultation Meeting

Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan - 26 October 2015

The Central Asia Regional Consultation Meeting took place on October 6 in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan and was hosted by the Government of Kyrgyzstan and UNDP. Participants, representing Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, including Governments, representatives of civil society, academia and ENVSEC partner agencies (UNDP, UNEP, OSCE, and UNECE) attended and actively participated in the meeting. UNDP in its ENVSEC Central Asia Regional Desk Office capacity and UNEP, as the organization chairing ENVSEC in 2015, in cooperation with other ENVSEC partners organized plenary and group discussions addressing the current and possible future challenges in Central Asian countries related to environment, disaster risk reduction, security and related matters.
Link to presentations made at the meeting

Management Board meeting

Geneva, Switzerland - 01 July 2015

The physical meeting of Management Board was held on 1 July 2015. Partners agreed to relaunch the exercise of Calendar of events, extend the MoU until end 2017, reflecting NATO's withdrawal from the partnership, and work together with UNEP's PCDMB branch on potential future cooperation.

Management Board teleconference

- 01 April 2015

The first Management Board teleconference of 2015 was held in April 2015. The Chair presented the draft Chair's objectives and called for partners' inputs on the substance. It was also decided to launch a calendar of events for ENVSEC in 2015-2016, finalize the 2014 Annual report of ENVSEC, and hold physical meetings of the Secretariat and Management Board back-to-back in June 2015.

ENVSEC Management Board and Partners’ meetings

Belgrade, Serbia - 25 November 2014 - 26 November 2014

The ENVSEC inter-agency Management Board meeting and annual ENVSEC Partners meeting took place on 25-26 November in Belgrade, Serbia. The partners of the ENVSEC Initiative reviewed the progress made within the regional and cross-regional context, engaged in in-depth discussions with the donors on how to improve results delivery and inter-agency project implementation, and planned the way forward for the Initiative. With a view to its upcoming Chairmanship of the Initiative, UNEP presented an outline of strategic objectives for 2015. The thematic focus areas of ENVSEC in 2015 will include water, disaster risk reduction and climate change and security.

UNECE supports strengthening of dam safety in Central Asia

Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan - 11 November 2014 - 12 November 2014

On 11-12 November 2014, UNECE organised a regional meeting on dam safety in Bishkek as part of the implementation of the third phase of the project “Capacity-building for cooperation on dam safety in Central Asia”. Representatives from key authorities and stakeholders from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Azerbaijan participated along with representatives of international organizations and experts from the Russian Federation.

The regional meeting provided a platform for participants to exchange experiences and agree on a project work plan for 2015. The work plan supports the development of national legislation and institutions in the participating countries as well as continued joint work on smaller dams where safety has been less regulated. With the support of UNECE, safety assessments of the Kirov and Ortotokoi dams in Kyrgyzstan, up-stream of Kazakhstan on the Talas and Chu rivers, will be undertaken in 2015 to upgrade their safety monitoring. Additionally, work to establish a formal framework for cooperation on dam safety between the Central Asian states will also continue.

The regional meeting was organized as part of the Environment and Security Initiative. The UNECE dam safety project is also a component of the UNECE Water Convention and SPECA programmes of work.

For further information please contact:

Mr. Bo Libert
UNECE Regional Adviser on Environment
Phone: +41 (0)22 917 2396
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

ENVSEC Central Asia Regional Coordination Meeting

Almaty, Kazakhstan - 11 November 2014

On 11 November, the Environment and Security Initiative (ENVSEC) organized a Regional Coordination meeting for Central Asia in Almaty, Kazakhstan. The meeting brought together nearly 40 representatives from the governments of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan as well as representatives from the international organizations accredited in the region. The participants reviewed and analysed the progress to date within the ENVSEC initiative and defined new priorities for its long-term (2015-2025) and short-term (2015-2018) programme implementation in the Central Asia. UNDP, UNEP and other partners of the ENVSEC Initiative will develop work programmes for assessing and addressing environment and security risks in the region based on the outcome statement of this meeting.

Fire Management training in Antalya

Antalya, Turkey - 15 October 2014 - 17 October 2014

From 15 to 17 October 2014, the Office of the Co-ordinator of OSCE Economic and Environmental Activities in Antalya, Turkey, held a regional training course on fire management to build the capacity of national authorities, fire brigades and unit leaders from the South Caucasus and Western Balkans. The course was held within the framework of ENVSEC with funding from the Governments of Austria, Finland and Switzerland. It was organized in co-operation with the Global Fire Monitoring Center and hosted by the International Fire Management Training Centre in Antalya under the Turkish Ministry of Forest and Water Affairs.

Participants learned about the concepts, good practices and standards of wildfire management. This included handling fires burning on areas contaminated by radioactivity, unexploded ordinances and land mines. The training was provided by experts from Germany, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine and the United States.

Halil Yurdakul Yigitguden, the co-ordinator of OSCE Economic and Environmental Activities was quoted saying “natural disasters can have a direct impact on security, addressing common disaster challenges, on the other hand offer an opportunity for co-operation within and among countries.”

Cross-boundary co-operation, community fire management and advanced technologies for fire prevention and preparedness were also focus areas of the training course. Participants shared their experiences, good practices and lessons learned. The final day was devoted to a practical exercise in the field where the participants studied fire behaviour and fire suppression techniques as well as tools and equipment.

Communication and Media Relations Section
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UNECE supports policy response to recent accidents of dams in Kazakhstan

26 September 2014

On 17 September 2014, the government of Kazakhstan, UNECE, and the Executive Board of the International Fund for the Saving of the Aral Sea organised a roundtable on dam safety in Astana, to discuss and plan for improved dam safety in Kazakhstan. Representatives from key authorities and stakeholders from Kazakhstan participated in the roundtable, along with international experts.

Dams and reservoirs are efficient means of addressing floods and droughts, but ageing dams represent increased risks to life, health, property, and the environment. In 2010, the failure of the Kyzyl-Agash Dam in Kazakhstan caused the flooding of the nearby village, killing at least 43 and leaving some 300 people injured. Another accident in spring this year stresses the need for improved policies and control in this sector.

The conclusion of the roundtable is that Kazakhstan needs to strengthen its legislation, as well as institutional capacity, to guarantee the safety of existing hydraulic infrastructure, and that international experiences are important in this process. Support from UNECE was requested for further development of national legislation, capacity-building, and the development of an international training centre.

Another issue discussed was the cooperation of Kazakhstan with neighbouring countries on transboundary rivers and its infrastructure. With the support of UNECE safety assessments of the Kirov and Ortotokoi dams in Kyrgyzstan upstreams of Kazakhstan on the Talas and Chu rivers have been made. It was concluded that steps should now be taken to improve the safety monitoring of these dams in cooperation with Kyrgyzstan.

The roundtable was organised as part of the Environment and Security Initiative. The UNECE dam safety project is also a component of the UNECE Water Convention and SPECA programmes of work and is implemented in cooperation with the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea.

For further information please contact: Mr Batyr Hajiyev Economic Affairs Officer Deputy Head ESCAP/UNECE SPECA Office Almaty, Kazakhstan Office: + 7 727 338 4402 Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Mr. Bo Libert UNECE Regional Adviser on Environment Phone: +41 (0)22 917 2396 E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Note to Editors: The project “Capacity-building for cooperation on dam safety in Central Asia” is organised to help Central Asian countries to set up or revise national dam safety regulatory frameworks, to achieve their harmonization and to promote subregional cooperation for information exchange and notification in case of accidents or emergency situations related to hydro-technical infrastructure. For more information see: http://www.unece.org/env/water/damsafety.html

The Environment and Security (ENVSEC) Initiative was established in 2003 and includes the OSCE, the Regional Environmental Centre for Central and Eastern Europe (REC), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), UNECE and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). The ENVSEC Initiative works to assess and address environmental problems, which threaten or are perceived to threaten security, societal stability and peace, human health and/or sustainable livelihoods, within and across national borders in conflict prone regions. http://www.envsec.org/

ENVSEC Eastern European Regional consultation meeting

Minsk, Belarus - 08 September 2014 - 09 September 2014

The Environment and Security (ENVSEC) Eastern European Regional consultation meeting took place from 8 to 9 September 2014. The meeting saw broad participation from representatives of governments of Belarus, Moldova, and Ukraine, academic and non-governmental institutions, and ENVSEC’s international partners.

The meeting was convened by UNEP as the Eastern European regional desk of the ENVSEC Initiative, and generously hosted by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection of the Republic of Belarus.

The high-level participants deliberated for two days in plenary and group discussions, analysing the future outlook for ENVSEC in Eastern Europe in a joint effort to work out priority areas where immediate attention and action is needed on the part of the Eastern European countries and their ENVSEC partners, especially in the context of the current tense situation in the region.

As a result of the two-day negotiations, which necessitated an intense closed-door session moderated by UNEP, an Outcome Statement was produced, elaborating the main challenges in the area of environment and security and giving the region a new vision of cooperation.

The priority areas identified are as follows: Water issues and transboundary water basins; Climate change: an ecosystem approach; Management of chemicals and hazardous wastes; Transboundary environmental security; Environmental cooperation in conflict situations; and Industrial activity and environmental security.

The Outcome Statement is posted on the ENVSEC website under Meetings .

Transboundary Cooperation and Climate Change Adaptation in the Neman River Basin

Lithuania - 19 June 2014 - 20 June 2014

The draft strategic framework for basin adaptation and a possible way forward to strengthen transboundary cooperation in the Neman River watershed in Eastern Europe was discussed in a meeting on river basin management and climate change adaptation held in Vilnius, Lithuania. The recommendations include expanding the scope of technical cooperation, improving cross-border exchange of information, for instance to support river basin management planning in Lithuania with Belarusian inputs, and to continue exploring opportunities for a basin-level policy instrument for the Neman River basin.

The meeting on 19 and 20 June 2014 convened experts and representatives from environmental authorities in Belarus, Lithuania and the Kaliningrad oblast of the Russian Federation. It was hosted by the Lithuanian Ministry of Environment in the framework of an international process on river basin management and climate change adaptation led by UNECE and UNDP Belarus.

The Neman Basin conference was organized as part of the project “River basin management and climate change adaptation in the Neman River Basin”, which is carried out by UNECE and UNDP Belarus in the ENVSEC framework.

The project aims to improve integrated river basin management and transboundary cooperation in times of a changing climate in the Neman River basin, to strengthen the capacity of the riparian countries to adapt to climate change by supporting dialogue and cooperation on the necessary steps to design an adaptation strategy in the transboundary context. The project has, for the first time, enabled modelling and forecasting of climatic and hydrological characteristics for the entire transboundary Neman River basin. It has also resulted in a strategic framework for basin adaptation, similar to a transboundary adaptation strategy. It has reached a common understanding on future water availability and water use, taking into account possible climate change impacts.

The project was launched in 2011 and is funded by Finland, Sweden and Switzerland. It is one of the pilot projects on climate change adaptation in transboundary basins under the UNECE Water Convention.

Integrated Water Management for the Lepenec River

29 May 2014

REC has ensured cooperation between the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Kosovo (Territory under UN Resolution 1244) concerning the management of shared transboundary water resources of the Lepenec river in South Eastern Europe (SEE). In a project aiming to introduce integrated water management, a joint expert group was set up to assess water supply and wastewater management. Based on the technical documentation and results of the assessment, the expert group have also analysed the legal and institutional set-up concerning the management of the Lepenec river and created a stakeholder map for introducing integrated water management.

On 29 May 2014 in Skopje, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, a bilateral meeting between the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Kosovo (Territory under UN Resolution 1244) was organized. In the meeting high-level officials from the Macedonian and Kosovan ministries, responsible for environment, physical planning, agriculture, transportation and economy, and representatives from hydrometeorology and health-care institutes, the business sector and non-governmental organisations met and jointly reviewed the project activities and next steps. The project is funded by the Government of Finland.

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