Strengthening Regional Cooperation on Skills Development: First Meeting of the CAREC Working Group

7 Mar 2024

The CAREC Program hosted the First Meeting of the CAREC Working Group on Skills Development on February 29 – March 1, 2024, in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. This event brought together high-level officials, decision-makers, academia, think tanks, and experts from CAREC participating countries to discuss and agree on priority areas in strengthening regional cooperation in skills development. The meeting helped define convergence areas for Technical and Vocational Education and Training and Higher Education systems, sharing knowledge products, and international best practices.

Key objectives of the meeting included officially launching the CAREC Working Group on Skills Development, agreeing on its future role and action plan for 2024, and identifying areas for cooperation interventions among CAREC participating countries. Participants engaged in interactive discussions, practical learning sessions and the exchange of valuable insights.

During Session IV, focused on boosting regional cooperation for climate-smart agriculture, water resources management, and green skills development in the CAREC region, Dr. Kuat Akizhanov, the Deputy Director Two of the CAREC Institute, presented on the Water-Agriculture-Energy Nexus in Central Asia, considering the impacts of climate change. The session aimed to evaluate the current state of water resources, the challenges posed by climate change and the need for environmental sustainability within the CAREC region, as well as to explore regional strategies for capacity building and strategic planning.

Dr. Kuat Akizhanov urged the education ministries of CAREC countries to focus on enhancing national capacities for climate resilience and sustainable development. He emphasized the importance of equipping the Technical and Vocational Education and Training and Higher Education systems with the knowledge and skills necessary for climate-resilient solutions, enabling them to provide education and training for climate-smart agriculture and water management to enhance local expertise and implement innovative technologies. This would not only elevate local expertise but also facilitate the adoption of cutting-edge technologies. “Investing in human capital is crucial for adapting to climate changes and ensuring the sustainability of agricultural and water systems within the region,” said Dr. Kuat Akizhanov.

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