Launch of the initiative “Green Central Asia: Enhancing environment, climate and water resilience”

Group photo from the Green Central Asia Conference 2020

Human-induced climate change is not only an environmental phenomenon, but also one of the main security threats of the 21st century. All over the world, rising sea levels, more frequent weather extremes and the growing risk of environmental disasters are increasingly depriving people of their livelihoods. Climate change is therefore becoming an ever-greater risk multiplier, threatening the stability of countries and societies. It also poses a growing security risk in Central Asia and Afghanistan, where it has a particularly severe impact on glaciers and on natural resources such as water, land and soil. This has consequences for food security and affects migrant flows and the stability of the region as a whole.

As part of a preventive and stabilising foreign policy, the Federal Foreign Office has launched Green Central Asia, a regional initiative on climate and security in Central Asia and Afghanistan, in 2020. The aim of Green Central Asia is to create better access to information and risk analyses in order to enable countries to assess the impact of climate change more accurately and to take preventive measures. At the same time, dialogues and workshops will increase decision-makers’ abilities to address climate-change related security risks at the national and regional levels. Scientific collaboration will support the expansion of national expertise, with the aim of identifying adequate solutions to the challenges posed by climate change. A high-level political dialogue on the nexus between climate change and security, as relevant to foreign policy, will actively support the implementation of Green Central Asia. The project will also play a part in implementing the new EU strategy on Central Asia, which was adopted by the European Council on 17 June 2019. Among other things, this strategy focuses on strengthening countries’ resilience to internal and external risk factors such as climate and environmental factors.

To launch the project, adelphi supported the Federal Foreign Office and GIZ with the organisation of a conference titled “Green Central Asia: Enhancing environment, climate and water resilience”, held at the Federal Foreign Office in Berlin on 28 January 2020. The conference brought together foreign ministers, high-level representatives of international and regional organisations and the scientific community to discuss the challenges facing the Central Asian countries, their experience with the Berlin Process (2008-2020) and what they expect from its successor program, Green Central Asia. adelphi provided input into the content of the conference and the communications strategy, contributed to managing the invitations and other logistics, and provided support and coordination to moderators and speakers.