Many developing countries in Asia and Central Asia are undergoing a rapid industrial transformation that is having a significant impact on the environment. Activities of the industrial sector, the burning of fossil fuels, amongst others, are contributing to an increasing amount of greenhouse gas emissions and waste, affecting climate change and natural disasters. Change in production and consumption patterns, decoupling economic growth from environmental degradation, and natural resources depletion are urgent challenges the region is currently facing.
In Kyrgyzstan, the intensive use of natural resources has indeed made a significant contribution to economic growth, but at which cost? In the long-term, this intensive use of resources will lead to significant negative consequences for people and the environment, including widespread poverty, poor health of the population due to air pollution, poor quality of drinking water, and lack of food and energy, just to name a few.
Nevertheless, the country is participating in global sustainable development processes and the Kyrgyz Government has introduced various policies for the promotion of green economy principles, ones aimed towards the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). To achieve these targets, the inclusion and uptake of sustainable consumption and production (SCP) practices are essential in mid- term and long- term policy plans.
SCP and Circular Economy approaches to deliver the Green Economy policy are a key priority for the Ministry of Economy and Finance and the Ministry of Energy of the Republic of Kyrgyzstan. In this endeavor, the EU-SWITCH-Asia SCP Facility, together with its partner, the Civic Foundation Unison Group, have been providing support to the Government to promote and enhance SCP and Circular Economy in the construction and building sector, with a focus on energy efficiency.
A deep analysis of the current situation of the building sector in Kyrgyzstan was conducted through consultations with national architects and town planners. Furthermore, knowledge sharing and collection of good practices and recommendations from international stakeholders were also valuable when developing the market for a sustainable building and construction sector.
The Analytical Report that was produced by SWITCH-Asia experts is currently being finalised (in English and Russian) and will cover the following topics:
- An overview of the construction sector in Kyrgyzstan;
- The institutional structure and market framework for energy efficiency;
- Energy efficiency policy and legal framework;
- Development of the market for energy efficient materials in Kyrgyzstan;
- Best international practice for sustainable building materials;
- Practical steps to introduce energy efficiency in public buildings based on best international practices.
This Report was presented on 2nd September 2021 during a workshop that took place at the Ministry of Economy of the Kyrgyz Republic and to which over 30 experts from public and private institutions attended. Mr. Almaz Isanov, Director of the Economic Policy Research Institute under the Ministry of Economy was the event’s facilitator.
In his welcome remarks, Mr. Jarasul Abduraimov, Deputy Minister of Economy and Finance, expressed his appreciation and gratitude to the Civic Foundation Unison Group and the EU SWITCH-Asia programme for the long-term partnership and the support provided so far by experts.
It is necessary to integrate the principles of sustainable consumption and production into the national economy through relevant policies and sectoral plans, as it is also essential to prioritise the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals in Kyrgyzstan, he stated.
Ms. Soltysik-Pavlic, Project Manager at the Delegation of the European Union to the Kyrgyz Republic emphasised:
“Green economy and resilience to climate change are very important issues for the European Union. Through the SWITCH-Asia grant programme, we are trying to support small and medium-sized businesses implementing SCP measures, as well as energy and resource efficiency practices. Projects are also raising awareness among consumers about the green economy and climate change, while through SWITCH-Asia policy support, national and international expertise is being shared with the Government”.
SWITCH-Asia will continue to support the Republic of Kyrgyzstan by promoting the uptake of SCP practices in the tourism sector, particularly through the three ongoing EU funded grant projects, spearheading activities on waste management, circular economy approaches in the agri-food sector, promoting responsible consumption behaviour,supporting green procurement and eco-labelling programmes, and energy efficiency measures in the construction and housing sector.