ASTANA, 24 November 2011 – A three-day workshop on establishing a green economy in Kazakhstan began today in Astana.
The workshop was organized by the OSCE Centre in Astana, the Ministry of Environmental Protection, the British Embassy and the London-based International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), and included the participation of a representative from the Office of the Co-ordinator of the OSCE Economic and Environmental Activities. The goal of the workshop is to assist the Government of Kazakhstan in implementing green economy principles, particularly in the run up to World Summit on Sustainable Development (“Rio plus 20”), which is to be held in Rio de Janeiro in 2012.
Some 50 sustainable development professionals from government, the private sector, non-governmental and international organizations are participating in the workshop. They will exchange experience and good practices on how to encourage green growth while minimizing the depletion of non-renewable natural resources and maximizing economic opportunities for an oil-exporting country.
“It is very important to create incentives for businesses to invest in energy efficient and low-carbon technologies in order to attain green growth targets and to embark on a sustainable development path,” said Stefan Buchmayer, the OSCE Centre in Astana’s Human Rights Officer. “We call for broad stakeholder participation in the deliberations on these issues, as they will help enrich the democratic decision-making process and contribute to Kazakhstan’s environmentally sound development.”
Ruslan Bultrikov, the Vice-Minister of Environmental Protection said: “The introduction of alternative technologies and instruments for a green economy is an imperative for the industrial policy of countries worldwide in the coming decades. In this regard we hope to receive from you concrete recommendations for our strategic activities, as well as for the economic, financial, managerial and legal mechanisms for the implementation of the Green Bridge Programme. These recommendations will be a significant contribution to the preparations for the World Summit on Sustainable Development which will be held in Brazil in 2012.”
David Moran, the Ambassador of the British Embassy in Astana, said: “If I could only make one point here, it would be that sustainable growth requires effective measures to combat climate change. A rapid global transition to a low-carbon economy is essential for the prosperity of all countries. And for those who move earlier, there are financial rewards.”
The workshop is expected to result in new partnerships and additional support for the working group developing the Astana Green Bridge Partnership Programme, Kazakhstan’s contribution to Rio plus 20.