Kazakhstan is an upper middle-income country whose economic growth has largely depended on exploitation of fossil fuels since independence. However, climate change, environmental degradation and waste pollution present significant threats. Kazakhstan is one of the biggest emitters of CO2 in the world in terms of emissions per capita, while it is also flood-prone, exposed to extreme temperatures and impacted by glacier melting droughts. 

The Government has taken progressive steps to promote sustainable development with ambitious targets set in the National Development Strategy Kazakhstan 2050 and Green Economy Concept. The country is also in the process of revising its Environmental Code to set the frame for sustainable use of natural resources. 

Kazakhstan joined PAGE in 2018 to support implementation of its National Development Strategy and development of a legal regulatory framework to implement the updated Environmental Code. On a sectoral level, waste management is considered a focus area, together with  green industrysustainable public procurement, fiscal policy and legal environmental tools. 

This has contributed to several Sustainable Development Goals, including:

Looking forward

PAGE Kazakhstan is supporting the UNDP COVID-19 Response team in developing a Socio-Economic Impact Assessment that captures the impact on the COVID-19 crisis on the green transition. In order to support green economic recovery, PAGE is also providing green advisory support to the Government of Kazakhstan with the main purpose to support the update of the National Development Strategy Kazakhstan 2025 to ensure green economy elements are included.  

Learn more about PAGE work in Kazakhstan in our 2020 Annual Report

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KEY THEMATIC & SECTORAL AREAS

  • National development planning 
  • Waste management 
  • Green industry 
  • Sustainable public procurement 
  • Fiscal policy 
  • Legal environmental tools 

CAPACITY BUILDING

  • Identifying learning needs of civil servants and stakeholders 
  • Raising awareness of green economy 

Kazakhstan & PAGE BY NUMBERS

Policies Supported: 3

Assessments: 1

Consultations & workshops: 6

National institutions & ministries partnering: 3 

Initiatives providing co-financing: 2

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NATIONAL POLICYMAKING

NATIONAL POLICYMAKING

Work is focused on the integration of low carbon development into the green economy strategic vision and Green Economy Concept, including:

Establishing the foundation for PAGE support

Following the inception mission in early 2019, work commenced on a stocktaking report to assess the progress towards an inclusive green economy, examine existing policies and initiatives, identify priorities and challenges, and determine entry points for PAGE. The draft stocktaking report was presented at a validation workshop in November 2019, where a general consensus was reached on the findings and recommendations. The study provides an overview of the economic, environmental and social issues facing the country, as well as key national and international stakeholders and partners to be engaged in PAGE work. It reviews the strategic green economy policy documents in Kazakhstan, as well as sectoral and thematic policies that could guide PAGE support in the country.

Guiding national decision-making

In collaboration with GIZ, PAGE is supporting the development of Kazakhstan’s National Low Carbon Development Concept until 2050 (LCDC), anticipated for completion in 2021. The LCDC will be based on modelling several scenarios and development pathways in nine sectors until 2050, incorporating social, environmental and economic elements. The focus is on the transformation required within sectors to meet long-term emissions targets and socio-economic goals, taking into account evolutions in technologies and business models. In 2020, PAGE contributed to the development of a policy vision for the waste sector and commenced work to support NDC implementation through fiscal policy reform, with analysis of the energy and housing and public utilities (HPU) sectors. Additionally, as part of its green advisory support provided to the government in the context of COVID-19, PAGE drafted a chapter on green economy to be incorporated into an updated National Development Strategy Kazakhstan 2025 as one of the seven key policies. This supports SDG 12, targets 12.4, 12.5 and 12.C, SDG 13, target 13.2 by integrating climate change measures into national policies and to SDG 17, targets 17.14, 17.15 and 17.19 by enhancing policy coherence and supporting country-owned frameworks and tools.  

Developing legal tools for the new environmental code

PAGE is providing technical advisory support to develop legal tools related to the new Environmental Code (EcoCode) in consultation with key stakeholders. PAGE is contributing to the code’s practical implementation through analysis of best international practices and the development of relevant secondary legislation. This is focused on four main areas:  Environmental Assessment, Best Available Techniques (BAT) based Environmental Permissions System, Environmental Quality Standards and Waste Management. In 2020, various draft legal acts were developed and submitted to the Ministry of Ecology, Geology and Natural Resources (MEGNR), with stakeholder consultations continuing into 2021. This supports SDG 12, targets 12.4 and 12.5 through sustainable waste management and reduction, as well as SDG, target 8.4, by promoting resource efficiency in consumption and production.  

SECTORAL AND THEMATIC REFORM

SECTORAL AND THEMATIC REFORM

PAGE work to date has focused on waste management, green fiscal policy to support industry and sustainable public procurement. PAGE progress on sectoral and thematic reform as well as future areas of focus are highlighted below:

Waste management

In the context of the LCDC, PAGE has contributed to the development of a policy vision for the waste sector, completed in March 2020. A number of assumptions and sector development scenarios of the waste sector have been developed and verified within stakeholder consultations in November 2020. Ongoing modelling work is supported by co-financing from GIZ and results will further inform the waste section of LCDC. Additionally, PAGE is supporting preparatory work for the development of a National Programme on Waste Management up to 2030 and an action plan for its implementation. This work was officially launched in August, and in December 2020 PAGE compiled and submitted a full concept of the programme for MEGNR consideration. In parallel, experts have embarked on the development of the first chapters of the Waste Programme itself. This supports SDG 12, targets 12.4 and 12.5 by improving waste management and reducing waste production. 

Green Industry

MEGNR and PAGE have initiated a pilot project activity to support green SMEs, by directing a portion of emission payments to finance projects with a high potential to reduce emissions. The main objective of this project is to increase the efficiency of emissions payments, support SMEs by creating favourable conditions for “green” projects, and to provide financial assistance and incentives — promoting green business and contributing to green employment. The pilot programme was launched in Pavlodar in 2020. In line with this, PAGE aims to contribute towards SDG 8, target 8.4 by endeavouring to decouple economic growth from environmental degradation and SDG 9, targets 9.4 and 9.B by upgrading infrastructure and supporting domestic technology development. 

Sustainable Public Procurement

Public procurement wields enormous purchasing power, accounting for more than 25 per cent of gross domestic procurements in Kazakhstan. Leveraging this purchasing power by buying more sustainable goods and services can drive markets in the direction of sustainability, reduce the negative impacts of organizations, and produce positive benefits for the environment and society. PAGE  is conducting analysis and consultations on the feasibility of introducing a Policy and Action plan for the insertion of sustainability criteria in Kazakhstan’s public procurement processes. This was launched with an introductory online workshop on Sustainable Public Procurement (SPP) in December 2020, attended by heads and officials of central and local executive government bodies, representatives of the quasi-public sector, international organizations, business and public associations. The analysis is anticipated to be complete by March 2021. This work contributed to SDG 12, target 12.7, by supporting sustainable procurement of goods and services.   

STRENGTHENING CAPACITY

STRENGTHENING CAPACITY

PAGE's work to build capacity on green economy objectives in Kazakhstan centres around the provision of training for civil servants and the integration of sustainability concepts into higher-level education, supported by South-South knowledge exchange and strong collaboration with partners. Examples include:

Building Institutional Capacity

In collaboration with GIZ, PAGE has developed a concept for a ‘Building Back Better training’ for civil servants in Kazakhstan. The training aims to equip public bodies with knowledge and skills to pursue low-carbon, green and transformative recovery, including best practices and tested solutions from peer countries and is designed to support Kazakhstan in its recovery efforts, to build a more sustainable, resilient and inclusive economy. This work supports SDG 4, target 4.7 by promoting the skills and knowledge needed for sustainable development through education.

Identifying Complementary Initiatives

As part of the inception phase, PAGE identified complementary initiatives and held discussions with other partners active in the country. This includes the GIZ project “Low Carbon Development Concept for Kazakhstan” (as described above), as well as on the development of BAT for industrial emission reduction and Building Back Better training’ for civil servants. PAGE is also collaborating with UNECE on the practical implementation of environmental assessment (SEA/EIA), as well as with the UN Development Account project “Enhancing sustainable public procurement for the regional transition to an inclusive green economy in Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia” on sustainable public procurement. These examples contribute to the achievement of SDG 17, targets 17.16 and targets 17.17, by facilitating partnerships that share knowledge and expertise.

South-South Collaboration

In April 2021, Kazakhstan and the Kyrgyz Republic shared experiences on the topic of environmental education and public awareness. Institutions engaged in the development of a policy framework for eco-education and public awareness on ecological issues, as part of the Green Kazakhstan National Project which PAGE is supporting, participated and were able to learn from the experience of Kyrgyz Republic in creating a National Climate Change Learning Strategy. This work aligns with SDG 17, targets 17.9 and 17.11 on global and regional collaboration.

COUNTRY FOCAL POINTS

Coordinating Agency Focal PointMaya Valcheva (UNITAR)
PAGE Project Coordinator
Government Focal PointsRashkid Karazkhaspayev, Ministry of Ecology, Geology and Natural Resources of RoK
Akhmetzhan Primkulov, Vice Minister, Ministry of Ecology, Geology and Natural Resources of RoK
Aliya Shalabekova, Ministry of Ecology, Geology and Natural Resources of RoK