in the

Kura Ara(k)s River Basin


The UNDP/GEF Kura Ara(k)s Project, in partnership with the EU Project: Trans-Boundary River Management Phase III for the Kura River basin – Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan successfully completed The jointly sponsored UNDP/GEF EU Kura Ara(k)s IWRM Academy. This Academy was for  specially selected members of the water management community in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia to provide training and support in understanding and implementing the principals of Integrated Water Resource Management.

The Academy was comprised of an intensive series of 9 training modules, presented in blocks of 3, that focused on key IWRM Principals has been developed for delivery in each country. These were:

Block 1

  1.     Introduction to IWRM - Benefits of Integration

  2.     Water Quality  - Reaching Decision Makers

  3.     Data Management - Making it Matter and Helping it Flow

Block 2

  1.     River Basin Ecology and River Basin Health

  2.     Floods and Droughts - IWRM for Disaster Management

  3.     Climate Change - Planning Adaptation into IWRM

Block 3

          Public Health, Gender and Awareness Issues for IWRM

  1.     Economic Aspects of IWRM - The Costs and Benefits

  2.    Implementation and Enforcement of IWRM

62 Participants successfully complete all 9 modules and received a “Certificate of Completion from the UNDP/GEF EU Kura Ara(k)s IWRM Academy” signed by the Project Coordinators and Ministry, and access to the trainers for guidance in future career development.

The participants were specially nominated by governments and ministry officials to represent their department. The participants were drawn from a special pool of rising experts and future decision makers who will be working with the EU and their own governments in the future to solve the challenges we face with regards to water management in a changing and varied climate.

The IWRM Academy Trainers draw from experienced IWRM Professionals who have worked in water management, in government, in the private sector and in the academic sector, in Europe, Canada and the Middle East. They have expertise in the Caucasus, in the wider former Soviet Union, in the EU Water Framework Directive, in developing countries and in a wide range of water sector issues. Additionally, National Experts from the Project will be providing national level insights to the issues for each course, helping to clarify specific challenges faced in Armenia, in Azerbaijan and in Georgia.

Dr. Mary M. Matthews, PhD serves as the Chief Technical Advisor for the UNDP/GEF Kura Project. She has a back ground in institutions for IWRM, transboundary coordination and EU WFD methodologies. She has worked in the Caucasus since 1992

Dr. Anatoly Pichugin, PhD serves as the Team Leader for the EU Kura Projects Phases II and III. His experience is in water quality, river basin management, and he specializes in the EU WFD implementation.

Eng. Tim Hannan serves as the Senior IWRM Expert for the UNDP/GEF Kura Project. He is an internationally respected authority in IWRM plan development with experience throughout the Caucasus

Eng. Ahmed Abou Elseoud is the Senior Environmental Expert for the UNDP/GEF Kura Project. He specializes in IWRM application, environmental management, and approached to decision-making.

The Academy arose from the Capacity Needs Assessment (CNA) conducted during the Inception Phase of the Project. The full assessment is available in English and Russian languages for public review. The CNA revealed that there is strong technical foundations within the Kura Ara(k)s Region for water management, however there is a critical need to integrate the water management processes and practices to support sustainable development in all of the basin countries.

The specially selected participants have been chosen based on criteria for a promising future within their sectors. As the countries of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia more closer to the EU, they will need to be able to integrate water resource management and there is already high demand for IWRM trained professionals in many National Agencies and Ministries.

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