Environment in emerging and transition economies

National policy dialogue (NPD) in Turkmenistan



Year of NPD launch:  2010

Present NPD Chair and strategic partners in the government: Ministry of Water Economy

Source of NPD funding: European Union, Government of Germany, Government of Norway

The kick-off meeting for the national policy dialogue (NPD) on intergrated water resources management (IWRM) in Turkmenistan was held in December 2010, followed by the first Steering Committee meeting in April 2011. As part of the NPD on IWRM, an interministerial expert group was established to review the national legislation of Turkmenistan in the light of the adoption of the standards of the Water Convention, including the IWRM principles enshrined in the Convention. The group developed a detailed analysis of the national legislation and concluded that the Water Convention corresponds to the interests of Turkmenistan. In August 2012 Turkmenistan acceded to the Water Convention. 

The main areas of work and achievements are summarised on this page. 

Priority areas of work and main activities

The NPD focused primarily on the convergence of national water management legislation and processes with the EU WFD, including the promotion of principles of IWRM and river basin management. Key areas of work included the review of existing national legislation and the development of a new National Water Code. These projects are detailed below.

Since the launch of the NPD, the following meetings and missions have been taking place to assist Kazakhstan in the NPD process:

  • A national workshop on IWRM was organized in November 2011 to familiarize the participants with IWRM implementation in the EU and in other countries of the Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia (EECCA) subregion, as well as to discuss the tools and opportunities for application of IWRM principles in Turkmenistan. An international consultant was commissioned to prepare a report on the opportunities to introduce a river basin management approach in Turkmenistan.

  • Starting from February 2012, UNECE organized two missions to Turkmenistan where consultations were held with different ministries and agencies in order to facilitate the implementation of the policy recommendations. This work culminated in the decision of the Parliament of Turkmenistan on 4 August 2012 on the country’s accession to the Water Convention. The involvement of UNECE high-level officials, namely meetings of the organisation's Deputy Executive Secretary with the President of Turkmenistan and the Minister for Foreign Affairs, greatly facilitated this important development.

  • The third Steering Committee meeting was held on 5 April 2013. Stakeholders took note of the work of the inter-ministerial expert group on the draft new Water Code. The Steering Committee approved preliminary results achieved by expert group so far.
  • The second meeting of the Steering Committee of the NPD was held on 27 September 2012. The meeting prioritised activities for the future development of the NPD: it recognised the efficiency of the NPD inter-ministerial expert group and decided to continue its activities. The NPD inter-ministerial expert group was entrusted to work on the revision of the national legislation. Several capacity building activities were envisaged, including the development of a training module on IWRM for Turkmen officials. It was decided that awareness on the UNECE Espoo Convention and Industrial Accidents Convention should be promoted.

Key achievements of the NPD to date


An inter-ministerial expert group was established to review the national legislation with a view to adopting the standards of the Water Convention. The group concluded that the Water Convention corresponds to the interests of the country and in August 2012, Turkmenistan acceded to the Water Convention.

In 2013, the inter-ministerial expert group drafted a National Water Code in order to enact necessary legal changes in line with the Water Convention and principles of IWRM. The adoption of the National Water Code is in the 2014 work plan of Mejlis, the National Parliament.

The radar chart synthetises the level of achievements along five axes within the NPD process in Kazakhstan (0-no activity; 2-fully achieved): 

- Transboundary water management
- National strategies on water, nexus
- The development of RBMPs
- The economis and financial dimensions of WRM
- WSS and Water and Health

Plans for the future

  • UNECE will continue its support to the process of having the draft Water Code adopted by the national Parliament in 2014.
  • Based on the successful work related to Turkmenistan’s accession to the Water Convention in 2012, an elaboration of the possibility to join the Convention on the Transboundary Effects of Industrial Accidents and the Protocol on Water and Health will start in late 2014.
  • In 2014, the roadmap for implementation of the IWRM principles in Turkmenistan will be drafted.

Satellite view of Turkmenistan