From June 16–20, 2017, we organized a youth workshop for water during Expo2017 Astana in Kazakhstan.
In the framework of the Expo2017, we held a #WaterGeneration Meetup on «Innovative Solutions to Water Issues in Central Asia: Challenges and Young People’s Contributions» with 30 participants aged between 18 and 27 from five Central Asian countries (Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan) and Afghanistan.
There was an open dialogue on the region’s water challenges, emphasizing the key role youth will play in tackling these issues. Supported by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and held at the Swiss Pavilion, the workshop enabled Central Asian Youth to develop a regional perspective on water. Over the course of the week, participants developed a ‘joint vision for their region’, which was then presented to local, national and international authorities.
Some highlights of the workshop include:
- The significant interest generated by the call for participation, with over 350 applications.
- An interactive program by and for youth, including rewarding interactions with many internationally-renowned experts.
- Technical and cultural visits.
- Privileged exchanges with high-level decision makers.
After the expert dialogues, teamwork and visits, the youth delegates presented the Central Asian Youth Vision for Water to Swiss Federal Councillor Didier Burkhalter and the high-level delegations from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Afghanistan. These states took part in a conference organized by the SDC, Blue Peace Central Asia: Dialogue for 2030 – Water Security and Inclusive Growth, at which the political authorities from Central Asian countries discussed the sharing of water resources.
The workshop helped identify key messages for youth and water in Central Asia. This was an important step on the road to the World Water Forum in March 2018 in Brasilia. The results were especially valuable for the following General Assembly of the World Youth Parliament for Water, which was held alongside the Forum. However, strengthening youth engagement in Central Asia and contributing to a sustainable future for their region was the primary goal.