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UNECE kicks off of clean air project in Kazakhstan, supporting ratification of key Air Convention protocols

To avoid damage to the environment, public health and the economy, adopting targets to reduce emissions and introducing measures to enforce them is essential. Providing a framework to facilitate these measures, UNECE assists countries in Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia in formulating policy responses to the air pollution challenge by ensuring the implementation and ratification of the Air Convention and its key Protocols.

In this regard, UNECE recently started a new project in Kazakhstan, funded by Switzerland, to develop a national action plan for ratification and implementation of the key protocols to the Convention. A Party to the Convention since 2001, the country has not yet ratified any of the Convention’s protocols. Hence, in order to assess and further strengthen the national capacity of Kazakhstan to ratify and implement the protocols to the Convention, the project was kicked-off with a virtual consultation workshop (11 November 2020) to assess the current situation and to identify existing gaps and challenges in the field of air quality assessment and management in the country. While some requirements are already being met by the current legislation, some gaps, specifically in relation to the implementation of Best Available Techniques, remain.

Once the consultation and assessment process is finalized, a strategic plan of actions for country entities will be developed, including the identification of possible scenarios for ratification and implementation of the protocols. In order to select the most appropriate, feasible, effective and efficient approach, an economic assessment of ratification scenarios will then also be carried out. Finally, a National Action Plan based on the selected "best" ratification option and the protocol implementation scenario will be developed. The National Action Plan will then be presented at a roundtable event in Kazakhstan in 2021. It is hoped that the National Action Plan will be adopted by the Kazakh Government and will then lead the way to ratification and implementation of the key protocols to the Convention.

For more information on capacity-building under the UNECE Air Convention, please visit: http://www.unece.org/environmental-policy/conventions/envlrtapwelcome/capacity-building.html.