Kyrgyz Republic: Green Economy Forum features new opportunities for business from theory to action

23 November 2017, Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic - Over 150 representatives from government, business and civil society have come together on 23 November in Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic to discuss the way forward in the country’s transition to a Green Economy. Kyrgyz Republic joined the Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE) in 2016 and since confirmed its strong interest in taking the country forward on a sustainable path in light of the many challenges that the small mountainous country faces, with limited arable land, high dependence on natural resources and high vulnerability to climate risk. Building on the results of a Green Economy Stocktaking Report, the Ministry of Economy has started to develop its Green Economy Concept and Action Plan putting priorities for the next years, including among others, sustainable public procurement, sustainable finance, outreach and capacity building. Against this background, the Green Economy Forum provides an excellent opportunity to build a wide societal coalition and mobilise private sector support for recalibrating policies and business practices in the country. BizExpert, local civil society organization working with the private sector, is one of the main implementing partners of the Green Economy Forum.

Mr. Tolkunbek Abdygulov, the First Prime Minister of the Kyrgyz Republic emphasised in the opening that green economy is a priority for the country, and welcomed the regular space for discussion that the Forum provides, organised with the support of the German Development Cooperation (GIZ) and UN Partners through the PAGE initiative. He highlighted that “on the basis of the goals and objectives of the Long-Term Development Strategy 2040 the government is drafting its development programme entitled 40 Steps to a New Era 2018-2023, which will integrate green economy aspects for Kyrgyz Republic.”

As representative of UN PAGE, Ms. Aliona Niculita, UNDP Resident Representative a.i. invited all participants in the forum, stakeholders from different groups, to follow the leadership of the government and to take green economy forward from theory to action.

The Green Economy Forum greatly benefited from the inputs of a Mongolian delegation which visited Kyrgyz Republic as part of PAGE supported South-South Exchange Initiative. Mongolia was the first country to join the Partnership for Action on Green Economy in 2013 and has seen great achievements in government policy, sustainable finance, sustainable public procurement, green buildings, waste management, and capacity development. Mr Magvan Bold, Board Member of the Mongolian Bankers Association and CEO of the Xac Bank, highlighted that it was necessity to act for the banking sector in Mongolia, as the country is already heavily affected by climate change with temperatures rising beyond the 2 Degrees Celsius that are discussed in international climate negotiations.

Mr. Daniiar Imanaliev, Deputy Minister of Economy in Kyrgyz Republic, called upon the private sector to look into the future, anticipate changes and identify opportunities. Recalling the nomadic traditions of the country, which adopt easily to new situations while moving around, the Kyrgyz private sector should adopt quickly to changes and bring in its best competences to join forces with the government.

Under the overall theme of green economy – from theory to action - the Forum provided space for in-depth discussions around sustainable financing, green technologies and state mechanisms for stimulating private sector action. Fostering knowledge exchange across countries in these areas, the discussion was enriched by presentations from experts from the Organisation Economic Development and Cooperation (OECD), the Asian Development Bank, UNEP inquiry and representatives from government and private sector in Mongolia.

At the end of the forum a resolution to recommending specific actions that the civil society, the business sector, financial sector and government to facilitate the transition of the national economy to green principles.

The Green Economy Forum was also an opportunity to award the winners of the media contest on green economy, which invited contributions from journalist in radio, TV, print media and bloggers.  See on link below a winner’s spot on how to solve the countries waste problem.