Kazakh experts release monograph on environmental problems
“How often do we think about the future? When you finish reading this sentence, in one region, more than one hectare of our planet's pristine forests will have disappeared from the face of the earth. How often do we think about the future that our descendants will face? When you finish reading this sentence, a layer of fertile soil, the size of a soccer field, will disappear,” reads the beginning of the monograph.
For many, the environment seems to be a topic that is far away, but hardly anyone realizes the real impact the environment has on people and the devastating consequences it has to face at the moment.
The monograph sums up the results of a research project on key environmental problems in Kazakhstan - water management, air pollution, waste management, land degradation, biodiversity, energy efficiency, and climate change.
Kazakhstan was among the first post-Soviet countries to launch its course towards a green economy. The path is not easy, it is long and difficult, but the end goal gives a chance for the future generations to face a sustainable future.
“Development can only be sustainable if it meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. In this situation, it is important to strengthen timely dialogue between government officials and the scientific community to jointly address environmental issues in the region,” said the organizers of the event.
The experts agreed on the importance of a holistic approach when addressing environmental issues. The work should come both from the government side and from non-government organizations.
They commended the efforts Kazakhstan has done in this area, including the new Environmental Code slated to come into force on July 1.
The code tightens the responsibility of large industrial companies for their impact on the environment. it also introduces the 'polluter pays' principle, facilitates the introduction of best available technologies at enterprises, and fosters the environmental audit of industrial companies, among other novelties.
The project was implemented by the Dosym Satpayev Private Foundation in partnership with the Kazakh-German University, with the support of the OSCE Office in Nur-Sultan, the Friedrich Ebert Foundation in Kazakhstan, and Living Asia magazine.