With UNEP's Support Central Asian States Tighten Cooperation to Achieve SDGs Fri, Jan 22, 2016

UNEP solidified its presence in Central Asia this year by opening a new office and organizing a series of key meetings to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

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A new sub-regional office of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) for Central Asia, opened in May 2015, in Almaty, Kazakhstan, has already made strides in empowering countries to tighten cooperation on sustainable development, climate change and the environment.

After visiting all five countries of the region last year, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon made a call for closer cooperation among Central Asian states. In 2015, countries made significant progress on agreeing priorities for global, pan-European, sub-regional and national level work areas and actions.

Ministers and high-level officials from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan attended an Interstate Commission on Sustainable Development of Central Asia (ICSD) meeting supported by UNEP in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan.

There, the countries called on UNEP to support their work on mountains and waste management as well as their transition to a Green Economy and green legislation ahead of the Environment for Europe ministerial meeting.

At a later conference in Almaty, Kazakhstan, the countries agreed on a pathway towards realizing the SDG 12 by shifting to sustainable consumption and production patterns. The event was held as part of the 10-year framework of programmes on sustainable consumption and production patterns (10 YFP).

The states also agreed on the next steps for drafting a Regional Waste Outlook and discussed preparations for the upcoming Environment for Europe Ministerial meeting.

The work areas identified by countries for the near future will require an enhanced coordination among different layers of environmental governance, involving a range of stakeholders. With its new sub-regional office, UNEP is perfectly positioned to provide assistance to countries in these endeavours.

This will partly be done through the ICSD together with the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe.

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