Kazakhstan discusses legal implementation of the Protocol on Strategic Environmental Assessment

On January 25, 2017 the National Round-table Discussion on Legal Implementation of the Protocol on Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) in Kazakhstan was organized by Ministry of Energy with Green Academy and UNESE cooperation in the framework of the Joint EU/UNDP/ UNECE project “Supporting Kazakhstan’s transition to a green economy model”.Representatives of the government bodies, including Parliament, Administration of President, MFA, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Industry and Development, ecological expertise and environmental assessment experts, industrial associations, design and non-governmental organization discussed legal aspects of implementation of the SEA Protocol.

International experts of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) prepared a Legislative Review that analyses the current legal base of f the Republic of Kazakhstan from the point of view of the SEA Protocol. The draft Review looks at the existing state planning system, legal framework of the environmental assessment of the strategic developmental plans and programs, identify the needs for amending this framework to fit with the SEA Protocol provisions as well offers the recommendations on how to ensure a systemic and effective application of the SEA in Kazakhstan.

«Number of environmental problems occur due to the lack of attention at the strategical and programming level. There is a need to take a more effective, integrated approaches that address the challenges of sustainable development as a whole”, – said Deputy Director of the Department of international cooperation and economic integration processes of the Ministry of Energy of the Republic of Kazakhstan Bekbergen Kerey in his welcoming remarks. “We acknowledge with interest the main findings and recommendations proposed in the draft Review of the legislation and understand that SEA procedure is not solemnly responsibility of the state environmental authorities, but also of the sectoral ministries and regional government bodies that are in charge of developing long-term plans and programs. In the future Kazakhstan may consider ratification of the SEA Protocol, but significant work on improving legislation and decision-making procedures must be done before this” – added Mr. Kerey.

Establishment of the SEA system in Kazakhstan is carried out in the framework Development of the draft Review is only the first step in the field of SEA that UNECE can assist Kazakhstan with.

“If sufficient political will is demonstrated, we are ready to assist in development of the amendments to the legal framework in Kazakhstan”, – said Elena Santer, Environment Officer of the Secretariat of the UNECE Espoo Convention. “This would ensure that the SEA procedures are developed in full compliance with the provisions of the UNECE SEA Protocol and EU Directive on SEA. In addition, UNECE is considering the possibility of providing support for capacity building and trainings on methodology of the SEA for the representatives of responsible public authorities and other stakeholders”. Moderator of this event , Member of Green Council under President of Kazakhstan, “Green Academy” Director Dr.Bakhyt Yessekina underlined that Kazakhstan has a big institutional potential for joining to SEA protocol . As result of this Round Table recommendations to the Government of Kazakhstan was adopted.

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