On June 18, 2021, the first meeting of the National Intersectoral Working Group (NMWG) in Kazakhstan was carried out by the USAID Regional Project on Water Resources and the Environment and the Ministry of Ecology, Geology and Natural Resources of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

The event was held in a hybrid format, online and with the physical presence of participants in the Marriott Astana Hotel. The event was attended by members of the NIWG, representatives of the USAID mission in Central Asia, as well as representatives of the USAID Regional Water and Environment Project.

The main objectives of the meeting were to get acquainted with the nominated representatives of the ministries and departments included in the NIWG and to present the goals, objectives and preliminary plans for the first year of implementation of this project.

The NIWG includes representatives of the Ministry of Ecology, Geology and Natural Resources, the Ministry of Energy, as well as regional and international institutions and organizations of the Republic of Kazakhstan. The NIWG is scheduled to meet twice a year.

The participants of the meeting heard presentations on each of the four components of the regional project, which are: capacity development and education, integrated water resources management (IWRM), regional and national initiatives for transboundary water cooperation, as well as environmental problems in Central Asia.

The participants then discussed and exchanged views on national priorities and interests regarding regional cooperation in terms of the water-energy-food NEXUS relationship. The participants of the meeting also put forward proposals for the implementation of the components of the regional project in Kazakhstan. In particular, proposals were put forward to improve the capacity of educational institutions working in the field of integrated water resources management, energy, food security and environmental protection in Kazakhstan. At the same time, proposals were put forward to improve the sustainability of river basin councils.

In conclusion, it was decided to consider the proposals submitted by the participants of the meeting and prepare the Protocol of the meeting.