Meeting with Kazakhstan environmental NGOs: strengthening cooperation with CAREC

Publication date: 31 October 2018
Meeting with Kazakhstan environmental NGOs: strengthening cooperation with CAREC

ASTANA. On October 29, CAREC held a meeting of environmental NGOs in Kazakhstan. The event was attended by representatives of the Environmental Forum and 10 non-governmental organizations of Kazakhstan working in the field of environmental protection and sustainable development. During the meeting, CAREC informed the NGOs about its activities. Participants also discussed new opportunities to enhance CAREC’s cooperation with NGOs and strengthen public participation in decision-making.

A separate issue on the agenda was the termination of authority of CAREC Board of Governors (BG) member from Kazakhstan NGOs Rauf Sabitov. At the meeting, the NGO Representatives discussed the appointment of a new representative of Kazakhstan NGO to CAREC BG. Parties decided to complete the discussion and nominating one candidate until November 5, 2018.

CAREC presented the concept of interaction with NGOs in Central Asia. Based on the results of a review of eco-NGOs in Kazakhstan (2017), opportunities were suggested for developing NGO cooperation with CAREC within regional processes and platforms supported by CAREC: Environment for Central Asia, Central Asian International Environmental Forum (CAIEF), Central Asian Conference on Climate Change (CACCC) and Central Asian Leadership Programme (CALP). “Within the leadership programme, in 9 years, CAREC has released over 58 graduates from Kazakhstan, 29% of whom are representatives of the NGO sector,” said Tatiana Shakirova, CAREC Education for Sustainable Development programme manager.

Then Rauf Sabitov, a member of CAREC Board of Governors of, told the meeting participants about the results of his activities as a member of the Board of Governors from 2012 to 2018. Mr Sabitov noted positive achievements, including the launch of the Environment and Health programme at CAREC, the development of the concept of interaction with NGOs in Central Asia, the development of eco-NGO reviews in Central Asia. Rauf Sabitov paid special attention to the challenges facing the new member of the Board of Governors. After the presentation, a fruitful discussion on the NGO priorities took place. Parties discussed the problems and challenges, as well as the necessary support from CAREC.

Environmental NGOs shared their experiences, achievements and pressing issues. Participants revealed the diversity of thematic focuses of their activities, including issues of raising public awareness, climate change, the green economy, as well as water quality, hygiene and sanitation, health and the environment, emergencies, etc.

The meeting participants noted a significant reduction in international funding and almost complete lack of funding for environmental projects through state procurement. According to NGO representatives, this negatively affects their activities in the environmental field. During the discussion, NGOs suggested that CAREC could provide support, not by financing, but provide expert advice. In other words, there is a need for expertise, educational materials and joint preparation of project applications. Specialists from non-governmental organizations also suggested developing mentoring and fundraising. In addition, participants noted the importance of involving NGO representatives as experts in the regional and national projects of CAREC.

Summing up the meeting, the Director of the Country Office of CAREC in Kazakhstan, Shynar Toilybaeva, noted the constantly growing level of expertise and emphasized the role of NGOs in environmental activities in Kazakhstan and Central Asia. The parties agreed to find common ground and develop mutually beneficial cooperation.

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