Preparation for the Environment for Europe Conference in Kazakhstan

20.04.2016

Preparation for the Environment for Europe Conference in Kazakhstan


Within the framework of preparing Central Asian countries for the Eighth Environment for Europe Ministerial Conference, on April 12, 2016 (Astana) Regional Environmental Center for Central Asia (CAREC) held national consultations on participation of the Republic of Kazakhstan in the Environment for Europe (EfE) Process and Conference. The upcoming Conference – to be held in Batumi, Georgia, on June 8-10, 2016 – will work under the slogan “Greener, Cleaner, Smarter!”. The two main themes selected for the event include “Greening the economy in the Pan-European region” and “Improving air quality for a better environment and human health”.

The consultations aimed to raise the awareness among public, research, non-governmental and commercial entities, to enhance their interactions within the EfE process as well as to encourage better coordination of joint actions prior to the Ministerial Conference to promote the interests of the region, in general, and of Kazakhstan, in particular. The consultations gathered representatives of the Ministry of Energy, Ministry of Economy, National Statistics Agency, Ministry of Investment and Development, Environment Protection Information and Analytical Center, and several NGO’s.

In the course of the Consultations, the participants shared their views, ideas and concerns on preparing for Batumi Conference, voluntary obligations on “greening” national economy and improving air quality, as well as further steps for forging joint regional post-Batumi vision.

During the Consultations, the participants had the opportunity to:
•        get familiar with the EfE Process and themes of the Eighth Ministerial Conference;
•        review and discuss official Conference documents;
•        discuss national priorities for promotion under the EfE Process.

During the discussion of Kazakhstan-specific priorities, the participants highlighted a number of issues.
In relation to mid- (2016-2020) and long-term (2020-2030) national priorities:                    
- water resources management;
- waste management;
- biodiversity conservation;
- desertification and land degradation;
- atmospheric air pollution.

Including in relation to long-term priorities:
- chemical security and accumulated contamination;
- preservation of marine biodiversity.

In relation to boosting Kazakhstan’s involvement in the EfE Process in general and its efforts to “green” its economy and improve air quality, in particular, the participations stressed the importance of the following:
- technological assistance;
- international expertise;
- attraction of additional funding via investments.   _______________________________________________________________________ 
 The “Environment for Europe” (EfE) Process is a partnership of 56 member-states in the UNECE region, United Nations agencies operating in the region, other interstate organizations, regional environmental centers, NGO’s, and key stakeholders. The partnership serves as the platform to discuss a wide spectrum of issues of sustainable development and application of integrated environmental policy approaches.

Starting 1991, Central Asian countries have been actively participating in the EfE Process and Ministerial Conferences, specifically. The Eighth Pan-European Ministerial Conference will take place in Batumi, Georgia, June 8-10, 2016 and will aim to mainstream the issues of “greening” economies and improving the quality of atmospheric air. The Regional Environmental Center for Central Asia (CAREC) has initiated national- and regional-level efforts to raise awareness and discuss thematic priorities as well as issues related to preparation and participation of the countries of the region in the Conference. Jointly with UNEP and IFAS Executive Committee and with UNECE and GIZ support, on June 9, 2016 CAREC will hold a side-event and an exhibition “Greening the economy and sustainable development in Central Asia: Achievements and Further Actions”.

Please, contact Saltanat Zhakenova at CAREC (szhakenova@carececo.org) for details. 


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