Kazakhstan discusses the progress in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals: a united call for action on clean energy and water resource management

March 29, 2024
Photo: Press Service of the Senate of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan

The Parliamentary Commission on monitoring the implementation of national goals and objectives for sustainable development convened its fifth session today in Turkestan. The session brought together a diverse group of stakeholders, including Senate and Mazhilis deputies, ministers of energy, and ecology and natural resources, regional leaders and representatives from international organizations, including UNDP.

The discussions centered on the critical link between sustainable development and the effective management of natural resources, emphasizing the need for universal access to clean, modern energy sources and the sustainable use of water resources.

Katarzyna Wawiernia, the UNDP Resident Representative in Kazakhstan, provided an overview of the nation's progress and challenges in meeting Sustainable Development Goal 6: ensuring access to water and sanitation for all. She highlighted the persistent challenges, including the lack of drinking water for approximately 300,000 people in rural areas and stagnation in improving wastewater treatment and water stress management.

“Water quality deserves special attention. Though there has been some progress in the proportion of water bodies with good ambient water quality, challenges persist. Water losses in agriculture must be addressed. Today, outdated irrigation systems contribute to significant water losses. The conclusion is obvious: if current trends in the management of water resources continue, there is a risk that socio-economic development will slow down by 2030 due to water scarcity. The estimates show that 50 percent of Kazakhstan's water needs will not be met by 2040,”
stated Katarzyna Wawiernia.
Photo: Press Service of the Senate of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan

Efforts to overcome these obstacles require systemic actions, such as combating climate change effects on water resources, promoting cross-border cooperation for stable water supplies, upgrading infrastructure, advancing water management technologies, and reducing water pollution. The UNDP reaffirmed its commitment to supporting Kazakhstan in these efforts through strategic initiatives.

Senate Speaker Maulen Ashimbayev underscored the importance of ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy sources for all.

“The share of renewable energy sources remains very low. Developing a 'green economy' is a key priority of our country's modern agenda. Transitioning to a 'green economy' will enhance the quality of life for the population and position us among actively developing countries while reducing environmental impact and using natural resources rationally,”
said Ashimbayev, calling on his colleagues to consolidate efforts towards achieving these goals.
Photo: Press Service of the Senate of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan

The session concluded with a focus on collaborative efforts, with participants proposing initiatives for further discussion in future meetings, reinforcing Kazakhstan's commitment to achieving its sustainable development goals.

UNDP provided its expert support to the Senate of the Parliament of Kazakhstan in establishing the Parliamentary Commission for monitoring the implementation of national goals and objectives in the field of sustainable development as part of a regional programme to establish an SDG Platform for Central Asia, funded by the European Union