EU: Azerbaijan is one of the water-scarce countries in region

EU: Azerbaijan is one of the water-scarce countries in region
June 22, 2020 14:46
EU: Azerbaijan is one of the water-scarce countries in region

European Union support will help Azerbaijan to have better access to information about water resources, Report informs, citing the EU office in Baku.

Starting today, water experts from Azerbaijan and European Environment Agency will hold online capacity development training for managing EcoPortal.

The training will focus on sharing environmental information, including that on the water, which is a vital resource for our planet, ecosystems, society, and the economy. This capacity building is in line with the European Union’s objectives of promoting greener development and digitalization in the Eastern Partnership. As Azerbaijan is one of the water-scarce countries in the region, water use efficiency and protection of the freshwater ecosystems are vital. The EcoPortal of Azerbaijan will support sharing data and information among the water agencies to underpin the knowledge-based policy-making in the country.

With the support from the European Union, water quality data of Azerbaijan has been harmonized in line with the WISE water quality data dictionary. It is now compatible with the European dataset. Similarly, the indicators developed based on the water quality data and published on the EcoPortal follow an indicator template from the European Environment Agency. It will enable the comparison of the state of water resources of Azerbaijan with neighboring countries and any of the EU Member State. Having regionally comparable indicators will support knowledge-based policy dialogue on water resources at the national and regional levels.

The developed indicators set also enable the public to get informed on water availability, the quality of water they rely on in their daily lives, and the economy underpinning their wealth and prosperity.

The EcoPortal is the platform where all indicators are available, and many other data and information will serve to wider interest groups such as water practitioners, the research community, and international organizations that heavily depend on national data for regional or global assessments.

The system’s functionalities and design of the EcoPortal are inspired by the European Water Information System (WISE), to which all EU Member States report their water data and share information. EcoPortal presents water datasets, indicators, dynamic maps, and reports. It allows for exchanging and sharing the data and information among the national water agencies in line with the Shared Environmental Information System principles and practices. Citizens, experts, practitioners, and academia can now access various databases and compare Azerbaijan’s water quality data with the data of the EU Member States.

The ENI SEIS II East project is funded by the European Union. The project implements the Shared Environmental Information System (SEIS) principles and practices in various environmental domains. The project builds on previous cooperation activities in the six Eastern Partnership countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Republic of Moldova, and Ukraine), carried out between 2010-2015. It aims to deepen the EU’s relations with the six Eastern Partnership countries and support the promotion of environmental protection by strengthening environmental governance. The project builds capacity in the fields of biodiversity, water, land, air, and environmental assessments. The EEA delivers the latest/best EU practices and methodologies to develop the institutional capacities of the national environmental and statistical authorities in the Eastern Partnership Countries.

The European Union’s relations with Azerbaijan are based on the EU-Azerbaijan Partnership and Cooperation Agreement in force since 1999. In February 2017, the EU and Azerbaijan began negotiations on a new framework agreement designed to enhance the political dialogue, trade, and mutually beneficial cooperation.