Issyk-Kul, Kyrgyzstan (July 9, 2012) – As part of the UNDP-UNEP Poverty and Environment Initiative (PEI) on July 7-8 Issyk-Kul province hosted a workshop to lay a foundation for mainstreaming of a poverty-environment nexus into the strategic planning and budgeting processes in the Kyrgyz Republic. The meeting brought together experts of ministries and agencies that are responsible for strategic planning to discuss the problems of promoting of PEI in Kyrgyzstan and coordinating the activities of newly established expert and interagency task forces.
Over the next five months these experts in collaboration with PEI experts will be documenting evidences that link economic, environmental sustainability and poverty issues. Lubov Ten, a leading expert of the Ministry of Economy, in her opening statement noted that the expert group would be tasked to develop a basic framework for transition to “green” economy and sustainable development of Kyrgyzstan in the long-term prospective.
“During this work experts of UNDP and UNEP Poverty and Environment Initiative will collect and process information in agricultural, energy, tourism, mining, environment, economic and social sectors needed for further incorporation of poverty and environment linkages into development strategies and budgets. It is also planned to launch an information campaign on linkages between poverty and environment among decision-makers, state and municipal workers and civil society. Moreover, it is planned to integrate these linkages into economic development strategies and plans on the regional level on the example of Naryn province” said Ms. Ten.
In the course of the workshop members of the expert group delivered presentations about related to social development, healthcare, mining industry and tourism, agriculture and energy, government finances and environment that were later discussed in groups. On the second day of the workshop, participants were familiarized with the results of Kyrgyzstan’s participation in the global summit Rio+20 and with the experience of implementing PEI in Tajikistan.
A guest from Tajikistan, Suyunkhon Rustamov, the first deputy minister of agriculture and the project expert, told participants about specifics of implementation of PEI in Tajikistan and stressed that their “key goal is build capacity of local authorities of Sogdian province (TJ) to mobilize resources and implement projects included in their development programmes and plans”.
Participants of the workshop also learned about international practice in promoting PEI: best practices from Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya and other countries.
Gulnara Abdykalykova, PEI manager in Kyrgyzstan, noted that “the foundation laid at this workshop for expert and interagency cooperation will help us more actively and effectively implement the project activities”.
The Poverty and Environment Initiative, which is implemented by the Kyrgyz Government with support of UNDP and UNEP, provides financial and technical support to the country for integration of environmental priorities and poverty issues into national, sector and local development plans. Office of the Kyrgyz Republic Prime Minister, Ministry of Economy and Antimonopoly Policy, State Agency on Regional Development and the State Agency on Environment Protection and Forestry are main partners of the initiative. Two territories where population heavily depend on livestock breeding – Naryn province and Suusamyr rural administration are pilot regions where the project is implemented. The current strategic development plans of these regions will serve as a basis for integration of environmental priorities and poverty issues.
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The Poverty Environment Initiative (PEI) is a global joint United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) initiative supporting country-level efforts to mainstream environmental management into national and sub-national planning and budgeting processes through creation of knowledge base, technical assistance and capacity development. The Regional Poverty and Environment Initiative was launched with the inception workshop in December 28 in Bratislava. High-level delegation from Kyrgyzstan at this workshop presented capacities and arguments for inclusion of Kyrgyzstan in this Initiative as a pilot country. As a result of careful selection a decision was taken on initiating full-fledged country programs in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. In the end of 2010 Bishkek hosted a meeting of stakeholders, where they approved the Initiative and made concrete proposals on finalization of a detailed work plan.
According to the National Statistics Committee the poverty level in Kyrgyzstan in 2010 was 33,7%, the highest level of which was recorded in Naryn Province (53,5 %). The development course of the country in the coming 3 years will be identified in the Mid-Term Development Programme for 2012-2014, which includes the action plan of the Government for socio-economic development that covers the issues of environment security also. This means that a number of activities on conservation and sustainable nature management will be implemented under this activity.