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Kazakhstan plans to implement Strategic Environmental Assessment under the EIA Convention

by April 6, 2017 Key Issues

Kazakhstan plans to implement Strategic Environmental Assessment under the EIA Convention. This was reported by Deputy Minister of Energy Magzum Mirzagaliyev during the round table on matters of ecology and nature management.

As a preventive measure for the prevention of environmental pollution, an environmental impact assessment, or EIA, has been successfully implemented for a long time. In addition, Kazakhstan in 2000 ratified the Convention on EIA in a transboundary context, adopted in 1991 in the Finnish city of Espoo. Being a party to this Convention, Kazakhstan continues to improve the current legislation in terms of its implementation. At the same time, European countries are continuing work to improve approaches to assessing the impact on the environment and public health. The result of this work was the adoption of the Protocol on Strategic Environmental Assessment to the EIA Convention in 2003. It came into force in 2010, � Mirzagaliyev said.

According to him, the main task of the Strategic Environmental Assessment is using the mechanism of assessing possible environmental consequences already at the stage of state planning, in view of public opinion. Currently, environmental authorities participate in the coordination of almost all documents in the state planning system. However, in the case of applying SEA procedures, responsibility for developed long-term plans and programs rests not with the environmental authorities, but with the developers.

Some CIS countries have already ratified the Protocol on SEA. Currently, Kazakhstan is implementing a project supported by the European Union and UNDP to study the feasibility of applying SEA in Kazakhstan, by analyzing the current legislation. The results of the work done will point to the possibility of introducing elements of SEA in our country, � Magzum Mirzagaliyev said.

Deputy Minister reminded that in 2013, the Concept of transition to a “green” economy was approved by Presidential Decree. The Concept sets the following goals: in the electric power industry, the share of alternative and renewable energy should reach 3 percent by 2020. The share for 2016 is already almost 1 percent. By 2025, it is planned to increase this share to 5 percent, by 2030 to 10 percent and by 2050 to 50 percent. It is planned to increase the share of gas power stations in the generation of electricity to 20 percent by 2020. In 2016 this share was 18.7 percent. Energy efficiency has the task of reducing GDP energy intensity by 25 percent by 2025. In the period from 2011 to 2015, the energy intensity of Kazakhstan’s economy has decreased by almost 30 percent. It is planned to increase the share of recycled waste by 40% by 2030. In 2016, the following results were achieved: 61.9 percent of the population’s coverage of exporting solid domestic waste; 15 percent sanitary storage of garbage; 26 percent – the share of waste processing.

Recall, Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) refers to the application of EIA principles to decisions of a higher structural level than decisions to create specific single facilities.

Source: Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan