The Kyrgyz Republic is a landlocked country in Central Asia, with a rich natural heritage. A large mountainous region, its economy is mainly driven by agriculture, extractive industries, hydropower energy, service and construction sectors. It has a medium human development status, shrinking unemployment rates to eight per cent in recent years. However, land degradation and desertification pose serious threats to the economy, its people and the environment.
The National Development Strategy 2040 recognises the importance of integrated policies balancing social, economic and environmental dimensions of development. The Strategy is accompanied by a five year development programme – Unity, Trust and Creation (2018-2022) – that provides a medium-term framework for all national, sub-national and sectoral strategies. This is complemented by a Green Economy Programme (2019-2023) with a focus on green energy, agriculture, industry, low carbon economy, friendly transport, sustainable tourism, waste management and natural ecosystems.
Since 2016, PAGE has prioritised support to advancing integration of IGE goals and targets into the government’s national planning processes. PAGE is also facilitating sectoral reforms in green industry and jobs and strengthening institutional capacities around IGE diagnostics, coordination, finance and public procurement. This work supports progress towards achieving SDGs 4, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13 and 17, as well as implementation of the Paris Agreement ratified by the Kyrgyz Republic in November 2019.
- The Kyrgyz Republic joins PAGE
- Inception mission held to develop a common understanding of green economy concepts
- Green Economy Stocktaking Report developed
- Study mission to Mongolia provided Kyrgyz counterparts with a working concept for advancing green economy
- Green Economy Forum held under the theme “From Theory to Practice – Possibilities for Business”
- National IGE expert group established
- Kyrgyz Parliament adopted the “Concept of Kyrgyzstan as a Green Economy Country”
- Green Economy Learning Needs Assessment developed
- Skills for Green Jobs Assessment finalised and launched
- Green Industry and Trade Assessment (GITA) conducted
- South-South exchange between the Kyrgyz Republic and Mongolia highlighted as best practice by the UN Office for South-South Cooperation
- National Development Strategy 2018-2040 and accompanying five-year programme Unity, Trust and Creation adopted
- Decree “On the Foreign Policy Concept for the Kyrgyz Republic” signed by the President of the Kyrgyz Republic
- Green Economy Week held under the theme “Strong Regions”
- National Green Economy Programme approved
- President of the Kyrgyz Republic signed a law ratifying the Paris Agreement on Climate Change
Progress in 2019: A snapshot
Setting the IGE agenda
The 2019 Green Economy Week focusing on “Strong Regions” was held in Bishkek in November 2019 resulting in the adoption of the Green Economy Development Programme. More than 35 events were organized, making it the world’s biggest green economy week. Under the coordination of the Ministry of Economy, ten ministries and more than 50 national institutions hosted 33 events on a wide range of topics. More than 2000 participants attended the events, with 54 media stories produced.
A two day training on PAGE’s macroeconomic analysis, using system dynamics modelling was attended by representatives from 15 ministries and institutions, including the Ministry of Finance, National Bank and Investment Authority, building capacity to support implementation of the Green Economy Development Programme. Other policy developments announced during the Green Economy Week include the ratification of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change by the Government and joining the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI).
Building an alliance for capacity development
An Alliance of Green Universities in the Kyrgyz Republic was formed in June 2019. Led by the Centre for Environment and Development (CED) and the American University of Central Asia (AUCA), this Alliance provides:
- A platform for universities and research centres to exchange knowledge on green economy and sustainable development;
- The opportunity to form inter-university research teams and carry out large-scale research projects; and
- A link between universities and government agencies, to ensure there is a strong foundation for policy developments.
The Alliance is a result of PAGE supported work, starting from the Green Economy Learning Needs Assessment that mobilized interested education institutions to join their human resources to integrate green economy into their education programmes.
Shaping policy reforms to form the basis of IGE transition
The Green Economy Development Programme 2019-2023 was approved in November 2019 during the Green Economy Week. PAGE supported the development of this policy document, through the completion of a macroeconomic assessment using system dynamics modelling highlighting seven priority economic sectors and three cross cutting areas.
The Sustainable Finance Roadmap, Green Economy Learning Needs Assessment and Green Industry Trade Assessment (GITA) – all supported by PAGE - have been integrated into this programme.
PAGE impact: 2016-2019 and beyond
PAGE work has focused on establishing a foundation to develop, measure and assess national policies relating to sustainability and green economy. Under the lead of the Ministry of Economy, a series of activities have contributed to the alignment of IGE goals with national policymaking:
Following the adoption of the National Development Strategy 2040, and the accompanying five-year development programme Unity, Trust and Creation in 2018, a critical milestone was approval of the Green Economy Development Programme in November 2019. It incorporates several studies and roadmaps developed with PAGE support on green finance, procurement and learning, as well as the first results of PAGE’s macroeconomic modelling. The Kyrgyz Republic has also demonstrated its commitment to IGE through ratification of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change in 2019. This work supports SDG 13, target 13.2, and SDG 17, target 17.14, on integrating climate change measures into national policies and enhancing policy coherence.
Several activities are being undertaken to support effective implementation and monitoring of IGE policies, including:
- Modelling policy scenarios: PAGE began providing green economy modelling support to the Ministry of Economy in 2018. With the support of an international expert, modelling work started with the identification of seven sectors and three thematic areas for policy intervention. The work has continued in 2019, with a focus on creating an integrated simulation model, model validation and capacity-building. The final model is due to be completed in 2020.
- Monitoring implementation across national programmes: PAGE is supporting the President’s Office and the Ministry of Economy to build a monitoring system for the implementation of key development strategies and programmes. This includes the long-term Strategy-2040, five year programme 2018-2023 and Green Economy Development Programme. Five training workshops were conducted with the Unit of Strategic Development, Policy, Economy and Finance (SDPEF) of the President’s Office to strengthen knowledge and skills around monitoring and reporting. At the Ministry of Economy work is focused on improving data collection and reporting, monitoring and evaluations systems. This, together with modelling on policy scenarios, supports SDG 17, targets 17.18 and 17.19, by increasing data and measurements of progress towards the SDGs.
PAGE work has focused on the identification of priority sectors for support, as well as the inclusion of specific sectoral and thematic policy documents into the newly adopted Green Economy Development Programme. From 2020, PAGE will commence support to the implementation of these policy documents.
In 2018, PAGE together with GIZ, OSCE and the OECD supported the development of a Sustainable Finance Roadmap. Presented at a Policy Dialogue in June 2018, this Roadmap has been incorporated into the Green Economy Development Programme, with work to commence on its implementation in 2020. This work contributes to achieving SDG 17, target 17.3, by supporting the mobilisation of financial resources for developing countries.
The green cities section of the Green Economy Development Programme was drafted with PAGE inputs. Throughout 2020 PAGE will support implementation of this document, including: i) analysing legislation on urban development with emphasis on green economy; ii) developing recommendations to integrate IGE aspects into legal and normative acts and normative-technical documents on sustainable development; and iii) strengthening capacities on green city issues in a gender-sensitive way. A specific event was held at the 2019 Green Economy Week on how green economy approaches can drive modern urban development in big cities, facilitating exchange of ideas and collaboration. This work supports SDG 11, target 11.3, by making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable for all.
In 2019, PAGE commenced support in the area of sustainable agriculture, starting with an in-depth assessment of specific subsidies and taxes. This work is complementary to BIOFIN’s activity on reforming environmentally harmful agricultural subsides. This will provide further in-depth assessment of specific subsides and taxes and potential reform options, including the scale and potential use of revenues. A proposal for cooperation between PAGE and BIOFIN was drafted in June 2019. This work contributes to SDG 13, target 13.2 by integrating climate change measures into national policies.
In 2018, PAGE completed an assessment of green industry and trade that was used as a chapter for the Green Economy Development Programme. In 2019, PAGE commenced a resource efficiency demonstration in the metal industry to be spearheaded by the State Committee on Industry, Energy and Subsoil Use. This work contributes to SDG 7, target 7.3, by seeking to improve energy efficiency and SDG 9, target 9.2, by promoting sustainable industrialisation. It also supports SDG 12 target 12.2, though improving industrial resource efficiency and waste reduction.
In 2018, PAGE finalised a Skills for Green Jobs Assessment outlining challenges and opportunities relating to capacity development in priority sectors to meet future skills needs. PAGE has also been supporting the development of the Green Jobs Assessment Model (GJAM) prototype to inform the impact of green policies on the labour market and household income distribution. This contributes to SDG 8, target 8.5, by supporting decent work and SDG 17, target 17.14, by promoting policy coherence.
In addition to the Green Economy Learning Needs Assessment developed in 2018, a core element of Kyrgyz Republic’s capacity-building efforts is the annual Green Economy Week, which supports knowledge-sharing on both national and international levels. Several other initiatives to build individual and institutional capacity have been completed, with more planned for 2020:
Several activities have been conducted in line with sectoral and thematic priorities, supporting SDG 4, target 4.7, by enhancing knowledge and skills and SDG 13, target 13.3, by improving education on climate change. In addition, capacity-building activities are planned for 2020 on sustainable and climate resilient agriculture, waste management and green jobs, and energy management and eco-industrial parks:
- Green modelling: Modelling training was carried out as part of Green Economy Week in November 2019. A training was also conducted by an international expert to support capacity strengthening within the Ministry of Economy, with 15 attendees. A second workshop was supported by GIZ to further bolster knowledge within this group. In addition, PAGE is in discussions with this international expert on a global course on IGE modelling;
- Monitoring and reporting: Five training workshops have been conducted with staff from the Unit of Strategic Development Policy, Economy and Finance (SDPEF) of the President’s Office to strengthen their skills on monitoring and reporting;
- Media awareness-raising: In 2018, 12 journalists received training on sustainable financing and procurement, green energy and environment in advance of Green Week; and
- General IGE knowledge: A collection of analytical and information articles have been compiled into a digest on Green Economy in Russian, aiming to serve as a knowledge product for civil servants.
An Alliance has been formed among local universities to facilitate knowledge exchange and research on IGE. This will also enable stronger links between research and analysis and policymaking. To support knowledge-sharing and enhance linkages, PAGE will be collaborating with UN Climate Change Learning Partnership (UN:CC Learn) to bring together members of the University Alliance and other stakeholders to discuss IGE during a one week capacity-building event in 2020. Participants from Mongolia and Kazakhstan will be invited to facilitate South-South collaboration. In addition, a background study on green economy and climate change education will be conducted. This supports SDG 17, target 17.17, by promoting effective partnerships.
The exchange between Kyrgyz Republic and Mongolia is a leading example of South-South and Triangular cooperation recognized in September 2018 in a report highlighting best practices in South-South and Triangular cooperation throughout the entire UN system. Centred around two study visits and the yearly Green Economy Weeks, the exchange focused on a wide range of policy processes supporting a green economy transition, including development of national plans, sustainable public procurement, sustainable finance and waste management. Additional South- South exchange with China is planned for 2020. National Green Economy Weeks have also provided a forum for exchange with other countries, beyond the initial objective to enhance national ownership. This work aligns with SDG 17, targets 17.9 and 17.11 on global and regional collaboration.