Kyrgyzstan's youth: the future of the country's sustainable development

July 28, 2021

Humanity is developing at an accelerated pace: the dynamic development of IT technology, artificial intelligence, space tourism, the Starlink programme - which will enable unlimited access to the internet anywhere in the world - and many other large-scale scientific and technological advances. However, it is important to note that with the accelerated development of science and technology, humanity is faced with a growing environmental crisis that can reverse the above-mentioned achievements and, moreover, exterminate humanity.

In this sense, many developed countries are beginning to form and implement new economic and political systems taking into account the environment, such as "green" economy, circular economy, environmentalism, ecological economy and many more. The main idea behind such systems is human development without harming the environment. This article will attempt to understand the role of youth in the formation and development of Kyrgyzstan in the modern world.

The role of youth

Kyrgyzstan is currently on the edge of global economic processes but can develop exponentially with timely economic and political adaptation to the new global “green” trends and demands. However, the question is: “Who will engage in developing Kyrgyzstan both at the interest of economic development as well as conservation of nature?”

According to the World Programme of Action for Youth adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 13 March 1996, "Young people in all countries constitute both the main human resource for development and the main agents of social change, economic development and technological progress. Current social and economic conditions, as well as the well-being and livelihood of future generations, will depend on how policies address young people's concerns and fulfil their potential.”

In this respect, Kyrgyzstan has enormous human resources for sustainable development, with youth being more than 1/3 of the total population. With proper development of the intellectual potential of young people, our country can "overtake without catching up" socially, economically and environmentally in the near future.

Active Youth Action on Climate Change

Young people in Kyrgyzstan are already actively leading the country towards green development by raising awareness on global environmental issues and solutions. In June 2021, with support from UNDP and the British Embassy in Kyrgyzstan, the first Local Conference of Youth (LCoY) on climate change took place, as a series of three events in different parts of the country.

The first Youth Conference on Climate Change was held in the Central Asian region, organized by "Students of Kyrgyzstan for a Green Economy" (SKGE) together with a team of young representatives of other organizations and students from other higher education institutions across the country.

Conference objectives and outcomes

- To build the capacity of young people on climate issues. At the conference, participants learned about the global climate crisis, its causes and consequences, in particular for Kyrgyzstan;

- To familiarize participants with the global climate negotiation processes, with a focus on the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Paris Agreement and the upcoming 26th Conference of Parties in Glasgow, UK;

- A simulation of the Conference of Parties (COP), where participants have the opportunity to delve deeper into various topics and develop their vision for preventing climate and environmental crisis.

Suggestions received from participants during the COP simulation on how to prevent the climate crisis will be framed in a communiqué from the youth of Kyrgyzstan, and further conveyed to the 16th UN Youth Conference on Climate Change (COY16). Most importantly, youth participants in Kyrgyzstan will have the opportunity to learn how to get involved in climate action today.

For LCoY Kyrgyzstan 2021, the organizers received official support from YOUNGO, the youth organization under the UNFCCC. The event is highly relevant in the context of countries' preparations for the upcoming 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26) to be held in Glasgow, UK during 1st-12th November 2021, as well as the largest global youth conference on climate change - the 16th UN Youth Conference on Climate Change (COY16), which will also be held in Glasgow. 

"Kyrgyzstan's young generation is an invaluable human capital"

To summarize, it should be noted that the answer to the above question is deep and long-term, involving enormous financial and intellectual costs. However, the young generation of Kyrgyzstan, as an invaluable human capital and generator of innovative ideas with creative imagination, enthusiasm, and energy, is the only source of sustainable development of the country in the near future. It is encouraging to note that young people are aware of their importance and are already contributing to the country's development along the lines of "environmental friendliness" and, moreover, are actively joining international networks of youth movements aimed at conserving nature and combating climate change.

Blog contributor: Omar Dairov, LCoY Kyrgyzstan Coordinator