The international ECOJER congress highlights the fields of sustainable economic development
NUR-SULTAN – ECOJER’s first international climate congress titled “Shaping a Sustainable Future” was held in the Kazakh capital on June 3-4, the Kazakh Ministry of Ecology, Geology and Humanities reported. Natural resources.
The event took place on the eve of World Environment Day and was part of the celebration of the 30th anniversary of Kazakhstan’s independence. The name of the congress translates to “eco-land” from Kazakh.
The congress featured sessions, during which climate cooperation between Kazakhstan and the European Union, the realities and prospects of industries going green, as well as the issues of a circular economy and smart cities, were discussed.
President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev addressed the congress participants in a video message. He said that although Kazakhstan has rich natural resources as a major asset, the country faces a greater task of extracting raw materials through more environmentally friendly technologies according to the principles of a zero waste economy. .
“The concept of sustainable development provides for the harmonious interaction of the ecology-economy-society triad. Kazakhstan cannot postpone the solution of environmental problems. I welcome the creation of a new platform for dialogue that brings together the efforts of the public, business and government to solve environmental problems and improve the environmental culture of the public. I hope that holding congress meetings on the eve of World Environment Day will become a good tradition, ”Tokayev said.
The president noted that the pandemic has highlighted the importance of sustainable environmental development and its direct role in the country’s economic growth. According to experts, poor air quality slows economic development and leads to an annual loss of 1.5-2% of Kazakh GDP.
The mutually beneficial relationship between the economy and sustainable development was also underlined by the president of the council of the association ECOJER and deputy of Majilis (a lower house of the Kazakh parliament) Lazzat Ramazanova.
“A further increase in global air temperature can lead to irreversible processes in the environment. This is why the government is implementing systemic measures to decarbonize the economy and make industry greener. The process will not be complete without political will and constant dialogue between state, business and the public. This is our goal, ”Ramazanova explained.
As one of the first steps towards change, the government has already established a working group to prepare the concept of low-carbon development of Kazakhstan until 2050. According to expert estimates, reduce greenhouse gases d ‘at least 70% until 2050 would require 350 billion dollars. in investment and the renewable energy industry would need $ 163 billion in investment.
Kazakh Minister of Ecology, Geology and Natural Resources Magzum Mirzagaliyev announced that sustainable development will begin with a comprehensive assessment of the most vulnerable sectors, such as water, agriculture, forestry and civil protection . This will enable national and local governments to make political decisions taking into account climate risks and adopting the necessary measures against climate change.
The intersectional approach dominated the congress with discussions such as the importance of women’s participation in environmental change. Environmental activists also had the chance to contribute to the conversation regarding the construction of incinerators in Kazakhstan.
EU Agriculture Commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski also argued that solutions to climate problems cannot be separated from reforms of the agro-industrial complex. According to Wojciechowski, sustainable agriculture offers a viable chance for small and medium-sized farms to increase their added value and contributes significantly to meeting climate commitments.
The importance of international cooperation in resolving the global climate crisis was underlined by the European Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, Virginijus Sinkevičius. “I firmly believe that today’s conference will help deepen cooperation between the EU and Kazakhstan on the most important climate and environmental issues that we all share,” said Sinkevičius.
ECOJER concluded by adopting a resolution that reflects participants’ proposals and recommendations aimed at helping Kazakhstan meet its commitments under the Paris Agreement.