A boy who lives in the PEI pilot area. Credit: Vlad Ushakov / UNDP
Kyrgyz Republic is a landlocked, low-income Central Asian state. After gaining independence in 1991 following the collapse of the Soviet Union, Kyrgyz adopted progressive market-based economic reforms. However, the country still faces widespread poverty with one third of the population living below the poverty line, and high dependence on natural resources, including oil and gas and gold mining.
Environmental degradation threatens to exacerbate existing challenges, particularly due to high dependence on the agricultural sector, which accounts for about a quarter of the nation GDP. Increasing levels of air and water pollution, deterioration of land, loss of biodiversity, and reducing water resources present significant obstacles to sustainable growth.
The Government of the Kyrgyz Republic is committed to reversing environmental degradation trends and capturing opportunities for economic growth that is both inclusive and sustainable. Kyrgyz Republic is seeking to transition the country towards a more sustainable development path, as demonstrated in the National Sustainable Development Strategy (2013-2017). The Strategy emphasizes clean technology, resource-efficient infrastructure and sustainably managed ecosystems.
Opportunities for Inclusive Green Economy
Kyrgyz has identified priorities areas for pursuing inclusive economic growth while safeguarding the environment and natural resources. In particular, support to key sectors include low-carbon energy, organic agriculture, tourism (with a focus on ecotourism), energy-efficient construction, and mining. In addition to these promising sectors for economic growth, Kyrgyz has also identified key areas for social development, including education for sustainable development and safe social facilities. There are promising opportunities to pursue growth in these key sectors while simultaneously supporting adaption to climate change and preservation of natural ecosystems.
Kyrgyz Republic has demonstrated high-level support for transitioning towards a green economy. The Ministries of Economy, Finance, Agriculture and Melioration, Education and Science, and the State Agency for Environment Protection and Forestry have expressed their interest in participating in the PAGE initiative. Additional support from civil society, research institutions, and the non-profit and private sectors include Bishkek Finance and Economics Academy, Ecological Movement “BIOM”, Ecological Moment of Kyrgyztan “Aleine”.
An inter-ministerial coordination mechanism, chaired by the Ministry of Economy, has already been established for the promotion of sustainable development initiatives, and will champion the cause of IGE across national development efforts.
Building on On-going Programs with PAGE Partners
Kyrgyz Republic has been engaged with the UNDP-UNEP Poverty-Environment Initiative (PEI) since 2011, which has set the stage for further IGE action. The UNDAF Country Program for Kyrgyzstan, adopted in 2012, includes a pillar of work aimed at achieving “comprehensive and sustainable development in order to reduce poverty and create jobs”, and UNDAF supports the Kyrgyz Government on many issues included in the National Sustainable Development Strategy, including formulation of economic policies based on sustainable use of natural resources, application of natural saving economic growth principles, and change fiscal regulation. The Government believes that strong linkages between UNDAF, PEI and PAGE can be established.