Barley field in Suusamyr Valley in Kyrgyzstan. Photo by UNDP Kyrgyzstan.

One of the latest similar initiatives was the concept document on the prospects of “Green Economy” in Kyrgyzstan. Main provisions of this document were presented at the major Rio+20 Sustainable Development Summit. The document will serve as a basis for the country’s leadership to elaborate a long-term development strategy, where social, economic, environmental and governance aspects of sustainable development are to be adequately reflected as national priorities.

Our project on energy efficiency of buildings demonstrated positive economic effects of improving energy efficiency and introduced legally binding construction standards that will help reduce energy costs for citizens. UNDP-led new amendments to the law on renewable energy sources create more incentives for investments in small hydropower stations, while the new edition to the law on pastures helps to manage pastures more transparently and rationally.

Another series of legal initiatives relate to conservation of biodiversity in Issyk-Kul and other smaller lakes. UNDP’s project on preserving unique fish of the lake helped to clarify roles of various government agencies regulating fishery and protection sector. The project also helped to develop a law banning usage of fine-mesh monofil nets with poisonous lead sinkers that contaminated the lake as well as killed many small fish. These initiatives combined with technical support in terms of protection and rehabilitation of several fish species helped to start restoration of four endangered fish species of Issyk-Kul.

UNDP helped to build a coordination and partnership mechanism led by the Ministry of Economy to mainstream issues of poverty and environment into the sustainable development processes. This mechanism helped to stimulate discussions and raise awareness about links between poverty and environment at a higher political level. Poverty-environment theme was also included in the curricula of the for Public Administration Master’s degree programme at the Academy of Management under the President of the Kyrgyz Republic.

In order to ensure sustainability of our work we cooperate with grassroots local communities. Several of our projects helped to launch and strengthen community-based organizations like an association of water users that regulate irrigation waters. Pasture committees organized within a project on conserving pastures of Suusamyr valley proved to be an effective body to manage grazing territories.

Kyrgyzstan published its first report on the state of environment for 2006-2011 using international experience and indicators. The report, which was developed with UNDP’s assistance, gives an overview of the situation in the areas of water and land resources, climate, energy, waste, biodiversity, transport, health and emergencies.

In order to keep track of Kyrgyzstan’s “green growth” UNDP helped to adapt OECD green growth indicators to the country’s realities. The adapted set of indicators was used for preparation of the National Sustainable Development Strategy [Doc, 596 Kb] initiated by the President and adopted on January 21, 2013.

Uranium tailings and other toxic waste, a legacy of the Soviet uranium production, are also on UNDP’s radar as a priority on the regional level. According to IAEA there are at least 94 uranium burial sites in the region, 74 of them are highly dangerous. Many of the tailings are located close to trans-boundary river basins and can cause a major environmental crisis in the region. Moreover, there are many socio-economic problems in the communities surrounding former uranium mines that need to be addressed urgently. UNDP in Kyrgyzstan led several high-level conferences on the matter keeping the issue on the regional agenda.

All of our environment protection interventions are accompanied by wide media coverage. Talking about our projects in public is also part of our efforts to change people’s behavior. Apart from dealing with traditional media, UNDP in Kyrgyzstan supports an online information resource on environmental issues – CARNet. Latest updates on environment and sustainable development efforts in Russia and five Central Asian countries are available on the website in two languages.

Related Publication
Climate Change: Examples of Adaptation on a Community Level

The publication showcases examples of adaptation to climate change practiced by local communities in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. Materials of this publication will be useful for existing and launching projects, as well as initiative groups of local people and farmers who want to develop sustainable agriculture in a changing climate.

View More
Related Video
Uranium Tailings of Kyrgyzstan: a Threat to Central Asia