On 28 January 2020, the German Federal Foreign Office held a conference in Berlin to mark the launch of the Green Central Asia initiative. Opened by Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and the High Representative of the EU Josep Borrell, it brought together the foreign ministers of the Central Asian states, as well as more than 250 participants to discuss the climate and security challenges facing Central Asia—and how the Green Central Asia initiative can contribute to addressing them.
While the discussions touched on a wide range of issues, some key messages stood out. Central Asia and Afghanistan are hot spots where climate change threatens to result in severe economic, development and environmental losses. Since these risks know no borders, regional cooperation and a common regional strategy based on mutual trust is essential. Germany and the EU have a long history of working together with Central Asia and Afghanistan, so the new initiative should build on both these relationships and the work that stakeholders are already doing on the ground in the region.
During the conference, Germany, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan and Afghanistan signed a Joint Declaration of Intent on cooperation in the field of climate and security in Central Asia and Afghanistan within the framework of Green Central Asia.
Germany is working with the Central Asian states, Afghanistan, the EU and other relevant actors to put together an action plan that will transform some of the suggestions and proposals made during the conference into concrete action.