نوع مقاله : مقاله پژوهشی
1 دانشجوی دکتری روابط بینالملل، دانشگاه اصفهان
2 دانشیار روابط بینالملل، دانشکدۀ اقتصاد و علوم اداری، دانشگاه اصفهان
عنوان مقاله [English]
About 80 countries with over 1.1 billion populations don’t have regular access to healthy freshwater resources. According to Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development findings (OECD), due to the excessive usage and climate changes, lots of freshwater resources will be disappeared by 2030; therefore over 3.9 billion people all over the world will face a fresh water shortage. Lack of water resources will cause political, social and economic crisis and will also result in extensive migrations and finally triggers regional conflicts. One outcome of the colonization of tsarism and then the Soviet era was destroying natural infrastructures including water resources (e.g. drying the Aral Sea), creating marginal areas, and making Central Asian countries a single product economy. The single product agricultural industry in the Central Asian socialist economy completely depends on the irrigation system. To irrigate cotton planting farms in Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan, more than 90 percent of existing water supplies being used. This amount becomes more catastrophic where in some areas, about 10.000 cubic meters of water were used for every hectare of the cotton farm. After the independence, this competition continued between 5 Central Asian countries. Increasing cotton production in Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan made these two countries pioneers in the world. Between 2004-2005, these two countries accounted for 65 percent of the world’s cotton production. This policy in the agriculture industry results in severe depletion of farms, excessive use of chemical fertilizer as well as a reduction in cotton production in the last ten years, so this reduction in addition to population growth, makes these 5 Central Asian countries import food products. Decreasing freshwater quality, increasing the amount of salt in the soil, and farms salinity along with fast population growth were some causes of appearing marginal areas in Central Asian countries. Marginal areas because of the lack of social, educational, healthy, and cultural services and facilities are a place for future crises. Based on the World Council’s estimates about International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) studies, Central Asia is among areas that are severely affected by water shortages; the drying of the Aral Sea was a disaster and some parts of Central Asia were depopulated. Based on World Bank predictions, water shortages in this area will reach 25 to 30 percent by 2050 and it is also predicted that the population of Central Asia will increase to 90 million. It shows that we should expect a different crisis in Central Asia in which the results will be expanded all over the area including the Middle East, Europe and Central Asia. On the other hand, the area is located at the crossroads of international interests in the new geopolitical and geo-economic conditions which were created in the last decade of the twentieth century. From then on, it has highlighted the importance of this region in political stability and global security. In new conditions, Germany was always trying to find a suitable place to increase its economic and political presence in the region. At the beginning of 1990’s, political leaders of Germany showed some signs of independence of action in foreign policy by adopting a multilateral policy in the international system and gradually approaching other centers of powers; to this end, areas such as Central Asia became a place to show the power and the economic, commercial and almost political presence of Germany. On the other hand, political and security conditions in Afghanistan and their effect on multiple crises in Central Asia as well as conflicts among Ukraine and Russia and its effect on the gas transmission to Europe increased the importance of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan. Germany as the biggest industrial unit in the European Union is the most important exporter of technology and industrial goods. Because of the dilapidated economic and production structure left from the Soviet Union, Central Asian countries have the potential needs to accept technology and Germany’s investment in different sectors. Therefore, during years after independence, Germany tried to take advantage of these needs and increase its share. But Central Asian countries tend to face the crisis due to different factors including extremism, terrorism, drug trafficking, poverty, unemployment, extensive addiction, tribalism, the unfinished process of state-nation building in these countries, fragile security and educational structures (intelligence Police), low legitimate governments based in Central Asia, the intervention of regional and trans-regional countries including Russia, China and United States and the most important factor water storages. A crisis that if remains pervasive, will not only have social, political, economic and environmental consequences in Central Asia but also leads to the growth of extremism, terrorism, increased drug trafficking, disruption in energy flow and migration to Europe. Also, it poses a serious threat to Germany’s interests, especially its economic interests in the region. Therefore, Central Asia and countries within its sphere became of strategic importance to Germany in various ways, including in diversifying energy demands, economic, trade, security and cultural resources after the end of the cold war. So, all these factors have caused concern in German Foreign policy and this country has tried different measures to manage water resources. According to the aforementioned items, by using a descriptive-analytical method based on the theoretical framework of neoliberalism institutionalism, this paper seeks to investigate German measures to manage water resources in Central Asia and prevent political and social crisis caused by lack of sustainable management in the field of vital water resources in Central Asia. The results of this paper show that despite obstacles such as lack of mutual trust between the governments, the dominance of some Central Asian countries, low level of cooperation between 5 countries of the region concerning water resources management, and a series of structural problems, Germany has been able to work through multilateral cooperation between institutions and scientific centers and carry out important and significant measures, both technical and academic. Data collection in this article is based on library methods.