Aiymzat Bulagy in Kyrgyzstan

Interview with Ms. Kasiet A. Musabaeva, President of the NGO "Aiymzat Bulagy" in the Kyrgyz Republic.

Kaiset Musabaeva1. What is the vision and mission of your organization?

The Public Association "Aiymzat Bulagy" is a nonprofit organization, a voluntary association of citizens united by their common interests: to promote women's participation in natural resources management, decision-making on their use, creating the conditions for women's equal access to resources, including water resources, development and promotion of social programmes and water-ecological areas with mandatory inclusion of gender components.

2. Why did you decide to become a GWP Partner?

Water is the only natural resource, and water demand will continue to increase with the growth of human population. It ensures the existence of human society in all its aspects, including social, economic, political.

The IWRM concept, of which the main ideologue is GWP, is recognized by the world community as an effective water management.

GWP is supporting countries in the sustainable management of their water resources. Kyrgyzstan is one of the countries of the Central Asian region that needs help in implementing the IWRM principles.

One of the key issues in the IWRM approach is gender equality and women's participation in water management, which is one of the objectives of our association. This was the main reason of our membership in the GWP network.

The Public Association "Aiymzat Bulagy" became a member of GWP CACENA in 2006 and is one of the founders of the GWP Country Water Partnership Kyrgyzstan.

3. What have you found to be the benefits of being a GWP Partner?

GWP is a recognized global platform that gives us the opportunity to share opinions and views amongst professionals, civil society and international organizations involved in the management, use and development of water resources. Our GWP Membership resulted in a partnership with similar organizations in the CACENA region, and it encouraged participation in various international conferences and forums, establishing personal relationships and study of international experience to address gender aspects of IWRM. As a GWP CACENA member, the public association "Aiymzat Bulagy" participated in a number of studies within various programmes and organized trainings on gender and IWRM Toolbox. All this ultimately ensure an increasing potential and opportunities for our association to promote partnership with other partners of the GWP network. 

4. What is one challenge facing the management of water resources in your area of expertise?

In our view, the current problems in the management of water resources are as follows:

- In the water sector of Kyrgyzstan, probably as in other CIS countries, women play a secondary role in the leadership and decision-making. The regular and systematic work to improve this could help to create an acceptable level of gender balance in the water sector of the country.

- Raising public awareness on water use problems: problems in interstate water use;

problems in the conservation of mountain ecosystems under water related disasters (mudflows, floods, etc.).

- Problems on adaptation to climate change.

5. Are there any special projects or initiatives that you would like to be more widely known?

The joint Commission on Chu-Talas rivers is established and operates on the basis of the bi-lateral agreement between the Kyrgyz Republic and the Republic of Kazakhstan. Currently the working experience of Chu-Talas Commission was reflected in the draft agreement between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. In our opinion, such an experience can be extended to cooperation in the water sphere with neighboring countries. For this it is necessary to inform the public and officials.

Top photo: The Kuylu mountains, Central Tien-Shan, Kyrgyzstan. 

Inset photo: Ms. Kasiet A. Musabaeva.