The First Meeting of Ministers Responsible for Forestry in Greater Central Asia
The Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Kazakhstan on the basis of the consensus reached during the 2nd Regional Workshop on Strategic Cooperation in the field of forestry in Central Asia Economy, held in Ulan Bator (Mongolia) together with the Institute of Ecology and Sustainable Development, the Asia-Pacific Network for Sustainable Management forest resources and rehabilitation, and the Regional environmental Centre for Central Asia organized the first conference of Ministers in the field of forestry in Greater Central Asia (GCA), which took place on 30-31 May 2016 in Astana, Kazakhstan. The conference was attended by the Vice-Minister of Forestry of Central Asian countries, China and Mongolia, international and independent experts, academics and representatives of international organizations. CAREC participated in maintaining cooperation between Member States of GCA. During the conference, an exhibition was organized by CAREC with the aim of promoting the role of CAREC, as a platform for inter-state and inter-institutional dialogue, which allows to introduce the know-how of the region, new knowledge and technology, and involvement in the decision-making process on environmental issues and improve the exchange of information at the regional level.
During the conference, CAREC contributed to the maintain priorities to exchange the important programs in the forestry sector in the GCA area. GCA region in a broad sense includes the territory of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the People's Republic of China, the Kyrgyz Republic, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and other countries.
As well as promote and deepen bilateral and multilateral cooperation of forestry in the region, participants exchanged views and principles, which are supported by the countries involved in regional and international forestry management processes. As well as prioritization of forestry issues in the socio-economic development of the involved countries has been carried out. One of the most important consensus of the conference is the adoption of the Astana statement, in which member countries have agreed as follows:
1. To take into account the policy and the main activities in the field of forestry of the representatives of participating economies of the meeting.
2. To welcome the efforts of forest authorities of the participating economies to increase the forest cover in the Greater Central Asia region reduce forest fires, forest pests and diseases, illegal logging and weaken the processes of desertification and degradation.
3. To mark an important role in addressing these issues such as the development of a wide cross-border and regional cooperation based on mutual discussion and awareness of the challenges and achievements of the forest sector, its legislative support, participation in the implementation of joint programs and projects, research and development. The most promising areas for such cooperation are the following:
- mitigating the impact of climate change and forest health decline;
- preventing cross-border forest fires;
- combating forest land degradation and desertification;
- promoting development of the regional forest monitoring system;
- promoting biological methods for forest protection;
- promoting development of forest plantations in sustainable manner in desert areas;
- conservation and utilization of forest genetic resources;
- promoting development of methodologies for assessing the value of forest ecosystem services;
- promoting capacity building and training of specialists in forestry;
- organizing and maintaining interdepartmental relations;
- developing and coordinating mechanisms of interaction between the economies;
- preparing and organizing of meetings/conferences at the level of heads and experts of forestry authorities of the economies to discuss major regional forestry issues.
With the initiative of the Deputy Director of the State Environmental Protection Agency and Forestry under the KR Mr. Zhumaeva the next Ministerial Conference will be held in 2018 in the Kyrgyz Republic