'Current Dynamics of the Border Areas in the Fergana Valley' Workshop
The University of Central Asia’s (UCA) Mountain Societies Research Institute (MSRI) of the Graduate School of Development held a workshop on “Current Dynamics of the Border Areas in the Fergana Valley” on February 13th in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.
Forty experts from Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and the United Kingdom participated in this one-day event, focused on different aspects of local communities’ life in the transboundary areas of Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Historically, the population of these three border countries in the Fergana Valley have been closely interlinked socially and economically. Over the past ten years, this stable connection has been challenged due to some political reasons related to the processes of delimitation and demarcation of borders, economic protectionism, and the breakdown of infrastructure that used to connect the countries of the region.
Participants discussed current developments and impacts that were anticipated from the border opening with Uzbekistan in 2017. What changes have occurred in the region? How does the transboundary water cooperation system respond to the new situation? How do local communities in transboundary areas perceive these changes, and what difficulties exist that are preventing the restoration of former social and economic links? Participants discussed these questions following presentations delivered by a series of experts and MSRI field researchers, who presented findings and case studies of a study conducted in the transboundary communities of Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.
The workshop was organised in the framework of MSRI’s project “Improving Stability and Better Natural Resource Management in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan”, implemented under the support of the Government of the United Kingdom and in partnership with the Aga Khan Foundation.