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Supporting Kazakhstan’s Transition to a Green Economy Model: environmental assessment

In 2015 - 2018, the Ministry of Energy of the Republic of Kazakhstan, with the support and in cooperation with the UNECE, implemented activities targeting to improve the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) system and facilitate the establishment of the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) system in Kazakhstan in accordance with provisions of the UNECE Espoo Convention and its Protocol on SEA. The SEA and EIA activities were carried out in the framework of the project “Supporting Kazakhstan’s Transition to a Green Economy Model” with the funding from the European Union. Additional financial support was provided by the Government of Switzerland and the OSCE Programme Office in Astana.

Enhancing national legislative framework for environmental assessment in Kazakhstan (2015 - 2018)

See details about implemented activities through the link.

Outcomes:

  • Review of the existing national legislation for environmental assessment vis-à-vis the Espoo Convention (ENGRUS) and the Protocol on SEA (RUS);
  • National Concept for the revision of the Environmental Code of Kazakhstan (as of 19 September 2018) with an item 6 on “Environmental Assessment”, notably with reference to SEA and EIA comprehensive reform (RUS);
  • Amendments to the Environmental Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan (Chapters on EIA, SEA, and  Transboundary procedure) (ENGRUS);
  • SEA amendments to secondary and sectoral legislation of Kazakhstan (ENGRUS);
  • Brochure on project overview (RUS).

Pilot project on Strategic Environmental Assessment in energy sector of Kazakhstan (2017 - 2018)

Application of SEA in relation to the draft Strategy for the development of the Fuel and Energy System of the Republic of Kazakhstan until 2030 (Energy Strategy) provides for the practical testing of application of this modern tool for environmental optimization of the Strategy as part of activities aimed at promoting green economy principles in the fuel and energy sector in Kazakhstan.

Under the pilot project the SEA team was established, comprising from the national experts in the areas of strategic planning, energy, biodiversity, health protection and EIA (mitigation of air, soil, water pollution, waste management and climate change adaptation). The national SEA team together with the UNECE international consultants implemented the SEA steps for the Strategy in line with the requirements of the Protocol on SEA. The pilot project took an effort to closely coordinate the SEA process with the working group on the Strategy, which was established under the auspices of the Ministry of Energy to introduce comprehensive of the Energy Strategy.

The Working group on Amendment of the the Energy Strategy was invited to: (a) ensure communication on interim SEA results and findings with the energy planners responsible for the preparation of the amendments to the Strategy; (b) participate in working meetings, training workshops and consultations with national stakeholders organized during the pilot SEA; and (c) provide inputs and comments to the draft documents to be prepared during the pilot SEA (in particular, to a Scoping report and an Environmental report).

A fundamental element of the success of the SEA pilot project is in active participation of the project key expert on strategic planning in the Working Group on the Energy Strategy revision. This circumstance created favorable conditions for introducing the amendment of the Energy Strategy based on recommendations, produced by the pilot project team.

See details abouut implemented activities through the link.

Outcomes:

  • Capacity building for application of the SEA procedures at a national level and awareness raising on SEA benefits among various national stakeholders;
  • Delivery of recommendations for environmental optimization and modifications of the Energy Strategy under the produced Scoping and Environmental reports (full version - ENGRUS; non-technical summary - RUS);
  • Production of three GIS maps to depict the adverse effect of the fuel and energy sector on environment and health;
  • Brochure on the project overview (ENGRUS).