Work­shop in Ad­vance of Fo­rum

Uzbekistan Today (English) - - ECOLOGY AND SOCIETY - Igor Saneyev

Par­tic­i­pants of a sem­i­nar­brief­ing in Tashkent de­lib­er­ated on prepa­ra­tions for the in­ter­na­tional en­vi­ron­men­tal fo­rum “Build­ing up co­op­er­a­tion in en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion and sus­tain­able devel­op­ment in Cen­tral Asia”, due 5-8 June 2018 in the cap­i­tal of Uzbek­istan.

The work­shop was at­tended by rep­re­sen­ta­tives of diplo­matic mis­sions, in­ter­na­tional and fi­nan­cial or­ga­ni­za­tions work­ing in our coun­try.

The event con­trib­u­tors noted that Uzbek­istan sup­ports the Sus­tain­able Devel­op­ment Goals of the United Na­tions and makes its own in­put into the global en­vi­ron­men­tal cause. The ob­jec­tives of re­al­iz­ing the goals of sus­tain­able devel­op­ment are fully em­bod­ied in the Strat­egy of Ac­tions along Five Pri­or­ity Ar­eas for the Devel­op­ment of the Repub­lic of Uzbek­istan in 20172021, adopted at the ini­tia­tive of Pres­i­dent Shavkat Mirziy­oyev.

To­day, spe­cial at­ten­tion is paid in the coun­try to re­duc­ing the neg­a­tive im­pact of wastes on the en­vi­ron­ment and pub­lic health. The in­tro­duc­tion of an in­te­grated waste man­age­ment sys­tem has been launched. A vivid ex­am­ple is a fully func­tion­ing clus­ter of waste col­lec­tion, re­cy­cling and pro­cess­ing in the Bukhara re­gion. The pri­or­ity is given to the mod­ern­iza­tion of the en­vi­ron­men­tal mon­i­tor­ing sys­tem. Mea­sures are be­ing im­ple­mented to in­tro­duce mech­a­nisms for en­cour­ag­ing cleaner pro­duc­tion, sup­port­ing ‘green’ en­trepreneur­ship, pro­mot­ing en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly waste­free and low-waste tech­nolo­gies. Work is carried out to con­serve bi­o­log­i­cal di­ver­sity, es­pe­cially rare and en­dan­gered species of an­i­mals and plants of in­ter­na­tional im­por­tance. In ac­cor­dance with the decision of the Pres­i­dent of Uzbek­istan, the devel­op­ment of the Na­tional Con­cept in the field of en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion has now be­gun.

The implementation of these and other tasks re­quires the con­sol­i­da­tion of the ef­forts of all stake­hold­ers not only at the na­tional, but also at the re­gional and in­ter­na­tional lev­els.

In this re­gard, the forth­com­ing fo­rum in June in Tashkent aims to strengthen the di­a­logue be­tween all stake­hold­ers on en­vi­ron­men­tal is­sues and the for­ma­tion of joint ac­tions for sus­tain­able devel­op­ment of the re­gion. The goal is to cre­ate an ef­fec­tive plat­form for work­ing out co­or­di­nated prac­ti­cal mea­sures aimed at solv­ing re­gional prob­lems by unit­ing all stake­hold­ers, in­clud­ing busi­ness and the sci­en­tific com­mu­nity.

The fo­rum is ex­pected to in­clude the par­tic­i­pa­tion of lead­ers and spe­cial­ists of the state bod­ies for the pro­tec­tion of the en­vi­ron­ment, wa­ter man­age­ment in Cen­tral Asia, Europe and Asia, UN agen­cies, lead­ing in­ter­na­tional or­ga­ni­za­tions and fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions, rep­re­sen­ta­tives of sci­en­tific and pub­lic or­ga­ni­za­tions.

“The CAMEP will en­able coun­tries to bring to­gether po­si­tions, out­line real projects that ac­tu­ally solve prob­lems,” said CAREC Executive Direc­tor Iskan­dar Ab­dul­layev. “Over the past year, co­op­er­a­tion in Cen­tral Asia has sig­nif­i­cantly im­proved, for ex­am­ple, on wa­ter is­sues. The po­lit­i­cal will led to the fact that we now con­sider wa­ter not as a mat­ter of dis­agree­ment, but as an ob­ject of co­op­er­a­tion, and this makes it pos­si­ble to solve prob­lems to­gether. It is also worth not­ing that, by restor­ing co­op­er­a­tion, we are in­creas­ing our eco­nomic po­ten­tial.”

I.Ab­dul­layev also noted that CAREC has been work­ing since 2001 and op­er­ates in six coun­tries of the Cen­tral Asian re­gion, in­clud­ing Afghanistan. The or­ga­ni­za­tion's ac­tiv­i­ties cover five ar­eas, in­clud­ing such im­por­tant is­sues as cli­mate change, en­ergy ef­fi­ciency, wa­ter co­op­er­a­tion, en­vi­ron­ment and health, ed­u­ca­tion for sus­tain­able devel­op­ment and en­vi­ron­men­tal man­age­ment.

We work closely with pub­lic or­ga­ni­za­tions and jour­nal­ists to dis­sem­i­nate in­for­ma­tion to the gen­eral pub­lic.”

The head of CAREC stressed that “en­vi­ron­men­tal is­sues can­not be solved within the borders of in­di­vid­ual coun­tries. We also are a cen­ter of knowl­edge, which ac­cu­mu­lates in­for­ma­tion on en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion that en­ters the re­gion.

The forth­com­ing fo­rum will be or­ga­nized by the gov­ern­ment of Uzbek­istan and the Re­gional En­vi­ron­men­tal Cen­ter for Cen­tral Asia. Its main the­matic ar­eas are re­new­able en­ergy sources and en­ergy ef­fi­ciency, in­te­grated man­age­ment of solid do­mes­tic waste, bio­di­ver­sity con­ser­va­tion and devel­op­ment of a net­work of pro­tected nat­u­ral ar­eas.

“Con­sid­er­ing that the gov­ern­ment of the coun­try is ini­ti­at­ing such a ma­jor fo­rum, this is a clear in­di­ca­tion that the lead­er­ship of Uzbek­istan un­der­stands the im­por­tance of re­gional co­op­er­a­tion and pool­ing ef­forts in ad­dress­ing en­vi­ron­men­tal is­sues. Re­al­iz­ing the im­por­tance of par­tic­i­pa­tion of all the coun­tries of Cen­tral Asia in the dis­cus­sion of re­gional is­sues, the Euro­pean Union ex­presses in­ter­est in par­tic­i­pat­ing ac­tively in the work of the fo­rum,” said Doniyor Kuchkarov, pro­gram man­ager at the Del­e­ga­tion of the Euro­pean Union in Uzbek­istan. “To date, the EU has been fi­nanc­ing a num­ber of en­vi­ron­men­tal projects, both at the re­gional and na­tional lev­els, in­clud­ing those aimed at pro­cess­ing solid mu­nic­i­pal waste, which is be­ing dis­cussed at a ple­nary ses­sion of the fo­rum. At this point, it is nec­es­sary to dis­cuss in more de­tail in which ar­eas the EU could share its ex­pe­ri­ence, and also to iden­tify what other points of con­tact ex­ist for strength­en­ing mu­tu­ally ben­e­fi­cial co­op­er­a­tion.”

Within the frame­work of the fo­rum, it is planned to hold ple­nary and par­al­lel panel meet­ings each of the the­matic ar­eas will iden­tify the most press­ing is­sues of com­mon in­ter­est for all coun­tries of Cen­tral Asia and de­velop ef­fec­tive mea­sures for their implementation.

A spe­cial­ized ex­hi­bi­tion of en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly tech­nolo­gies of Uzbek­istan will be held, which will unite the most fa­mous man­u­fac­tur­ers and de­vel­op­ers of ‘green’ tech­nolo­gies and equip­ment. Its main sec­tions will be spe­cial equip­ment for col­lec­tion and trans­porta­tion of solid do­mes­tic waste, tech­nolo­gies for their sort­ing, pro­cess­ing and uti­liza­tion, clean pro­duc­tion and con­sump­tion tech­nolo­gies, re­new­able en­ergy tech­nolo­gies for agri­cul­ture and hous­ing, re­new­able en­ergy for elec­tric­ity and heat, and oth­ers.

The fo­rum will bring to­gether in­ter­ested donor coun­tries, in­ter­na­tional or­ga­ni­za­tions, fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions, and will cre­ate an op­por­tu­nity for Cen­tral Asian states to present the most rel­e­vant and pri­or­ity projects for sus­tain­able devel­op­ment for dis­cus­sion and joint implementation.

There will be a media tour for rep­re­sen­ta­tives of foreign media, in which jour­nal­ists will visit the dried-up bot­tom of the Aral Sea, as well as the Gis­sar State Re­serve in Kashkadarya re­gion to get ac­quainted with the rich fauna, flora and nat­u­ral her­itage of Uzbek­istan.

“I think this fo­rum is really an im­por­tant ini­tia­tive unit­ing all part­ners who want to act, that is, not just talk­ing about the en­vi­ron­ment and the need to pro­tect it, but tak­ing con­crete mea­sures,” com­mented He­lena Fraser, UN Res­i­dent Co­or­di­na­tor, Per­ma­nent Rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the United Na­tions Devel­op­ment Pro­gram in Uzbek­istan. “The brief­ing showed that the fo­rum will focus on ac­tions that should bring about con­crete re­sults, es­tab­lish part­ner­ships among par­ties con­cerned to ad­dress the very com­plex en­vi­ron­men­tal is­sues faced not only by Uzbek­istan and Cen­tral Asia, but also, of course, world­wide.”

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