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

The initial working meeting (8-9 November 2017, Astana) was designed to launch the pilot SEA with participation of line ministries, team of international and national experts and a national SEA working group, comprising from the representatives of the Ministry of Energy to demonstrate the application of international SEA principles. The discussions continued in the circle of national experts, which were introduced further details on the SEA procedure and methodology for preliminary determination of the scope of the SEA for the Strategy. 

The rationale of the public consultations workshop (6 March 2018, Astana) was to provide an opportunity to relevant stakeholders to get familiar with and comment on the findings and results of the scoping stage of the SEA pilot, specifically on the proposed scope of further assessment and initial recommendations regarding the Strategy. The consultations, inter alia, were also seen as an additional source of information and a tool for verifying the Scoping report findings.

The working meeting of the SEA team on baseline analysis and impact assessment, including mitigation measures (5 March 2018, Astana) introduced to the national experts a general concept of SEA and main principles of its efficient application as well as provided a space for initial scoping brainstorming. Speaking precisely, it focused on further steps of SEA i.e. baseline analysis, assessment of likely impacts that may result from implementation of the Energy Strategy, formulation of relevant mitigation measures. It also helped to enhance understanding and knowledge of the participants on further SEA analyses. 

SEA consultations with relevant government agencies, enterprises and the public were held in the regions of Kazakhstan in Spring 2018 in the cities of Pavlodar (06.04.2018), Karaganda (13.04.2018) and Astana (15.05.2018). The consultations were attended by representatives of the local environmental protection authorities, large private organizations and companies, such as JSC NC "KazMunayGas", LLP "Karaganda energy center", JSC Shubarkol Komir, JSC "PAVLODARENERGO", LLP "Bogatyr Komir" and non-governmental organizations (NGO "ECOM", "EcoMuseum", etc.). These are the industrial regions with high concentration of fuel and energy facilities that pose adverse effect on environment. The consultations were based on the presentation of the SEA results of the work undertaken to define the scope, preliminary conclusions and recommendations and targeted to collect additional information on the state of the environment, fuel and energy impacts on environment and mitigation measures.

The final round table (14 November 2018, Astana) facilitated the presentation of international best practices and wider discussions under the recently developed SEA and EIA amendments to the Environmental Code of Kazakhstan, relevant sectoral legislation and the SEA by-laws. The agenda also accommodated the presentation of the SEA report with recommendations for the revision of the Energy Strategy. The final round table resulted in conclusions and recommendations aiming at further enhancement of the SEA and EIA legal and institutional reforms in Kazakhstan.