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Waste management, climate change adaptation and green economy in Central Asia

On 28 November, at the ministerial meeting of the Interstate Commission on Sustainable Development of Central Asia (ICSD), Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan adopted key decisions aiming at reinforcing sustainable development in the region. Waste management, climate change adaptation and green economy were confirmed as the main drivers of a reinforced collaboration between Central Asian countries and UNEP.


First, the five Central Asian countries decided to create, with the assistance of UNEP, a working group on the waste management challenge in Central Asia. ICSD and UNEP agreed to reinforce their collaboration in that field and will aim at implementing concrete waste management projects at national level, as well as developing a regional outlook of waste.

Second, ICSD and UNEP agreed to jointly implement a project on adaptation to climate change of mountain ecosystems in Central Asia. The Rio+20 outcome document indeed stresses the need to further raise awareness on the importance of mountain ecosystems and climate change, causing severe impacts, including at trans-boundary level.

The expert workshop held right before the ministerial meeting and in close collaboration with RMCCA (Regional Mountain Centre for Central Asia) recognised the need for enhanced action towards climate change adaptation at both policy and technical level. The upcoming participatory assessments on sub-regional mountain responses and adaptation to climate change will provide a very important framework in this respect.

RMCCA, UNEP, and its collaborating centre GRID-Arendal stand ready to take the necessary steps in implementing this assessment work, and are looking forward to working with the Central Asian countries to ensure proper implementation of this work in particular by engaging relevant national experts in the process.

Third, UNEP and ICSD agreed to work together on accelerating the transition towards Green Economy in the region, starting with a situation analysis of existing policies and indicators as well as an initial assessment of investment needs.


The workshop on Green Economy, organised ahead of the ministerial conference, served as an opportunity for the countries to exchange their experience on their progress in transition to Green economy.

Addressing the conference participants, Sylvie Motard, Deputy Director, UNEP Regional Office for Europe said: “Working on five priorities - air pollution, water pollution, land degradation, waste management, and degradation of mountain ecosystems - UNEP is honoured to offer its expertise to take stock of the work being done by each country individually, and undertake a situation analysis for opportunities and challenges at regional level, including assessment of the financial and investment needs to support the transition to Green Economy, starting with key sectors”. “ICSD will be the platform to facilitate this transition by sharing experiences amongst countries and creating conditions enabling this shift to happen. One of them would be the establishment of an interactive database on best practices, and access to technology. UNEP will be happy to contribute to this initiative, also linking it to its global knowledge networks”, Ms Motard added.

The Interstate Commission on Sustainable Development of Central Asia is the inter-governmental body of the five Central Asian states to facilitate the regional cooperation for environment and sustainable development.

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