Central Asian Leadership Programme fosters new generation of environmental leaders

What can be done in a life span of 10 years? One can get an education – and not necessarily only one, start a new job or a family, have children, see the world. Or one can do it all at once. But first things first.

The Central Asian Leadership Programme is going to take place for the 10th time in a row. This is one of the few educational programs in the Central Asian region that proved successful and sustainable. From 2010 to 2018, the Program accommodated more than 250 participants with up to 50% female participants. Our alumni today work in the environmental, water, energy, non-governmental and academic sectors. In order to keep in touch among the graduates, a special network of the CALP alumni has been created where they can easily share information, good practices and opportunities online.

In 2016, the Organizational Committee of the CALP Alumni Network was established, which has been operating on a rotational basis for more than two years and helps CAREC disseminate information, knowledge, best practices at both national and regional levels. Moreover, within the regional dialogue platforms such as the Central Asian International Environmental Forum (CAIEF) and the Central Asian Conference on Climate Change (CACCC), CAREC conducts youth side events with participation of the CALP alumni – members of the Organizing Committee of the CALP Alumni Network. For the past two years, Danara Saranova (Kazakhstan), Aziza Murzashova (Kyrgyzstan), Madina Rakhmatova (Tajikistan), Nataliya Chemaeva (Turkmenistan), Nodira Dzhanibekova (Uzbekistan) and Idrees Malyar (Afghanistan) have been served as a first cohort of the Organizing Committee.

Prior to the 10th Anniversary CALP, in consultation with CAREC country and project offices across Central Asia and Afghanistan and with the members of the Organizing Committee of the CALP Alumni Network, the list of new members were proposed to the new Organizing Committee: Saule Agatayeva (Kazakhstan), Ayperi Dzhailoobaeva (Kyrgyzstan), Takhmina Akhmedova (Tajikistan), Hemra Atabayev (Turkmenistan), Shakhzoad Alikhanova (Uzbekistan) and Hussein Alemi (Afghanistan). The change in the composition of the Organizing Committee will be officially announced on the 10th Anniversary CALP, and we will hear success stories from both former and new members of the Organizing Committee of the CALP Alumni Network.

Today, CALP graduates make significant contributions to promoting regional cooperation and sustainability issues in various sectors throughout the region. Our graduates not only collaborate, share experiences, work together at regional meetings and forums, but also study together at foreign universities, communicate, exchange useful information, make friends and support each other. We are proud that in September 2018, one of the graduates of the CALP was appointed Vice-minister of the National Environmental Protection Agency in Afghanistan, while others work at various water and energy departments in the region, at CAREC headquarters and country offices, in environmental media, universities and NGOs, promoting values and the benefits of regional cooperation.

However, there are not only professional, but also personal or family achievements – CALP graduates of different years from Kyrgyzstan – Aziza and Aibek started a family and had a baby boy Danaker – hopefully the future leader of Central Asia. At the age of 4.5 months, Danaker with his mother, already participated in his first regional event – Youth Event in Tashkent during CACCC-2019. In Kazakhstan, CALP graduates Dariya and Dauren also created a family with two children Asparuh and Shakarim, and their mother Dariya is currently working as a PR specialist for the OSCE-Vienna project “Regional Training on Water Diplomacy and Gender and CALP”.

We are confident that the success stories of the CALP graduates would serve as an example and inspire new members of the CALP to strive for better regional cooperation and commitment to the environmental values ​​of the young leaders for the sustainable development of the Central Asian region and Afghanistan.