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 Kyrgyzstan holds National Forum on Climate Change before COP28 in UAE

The National Forum on Climate Change was held in Kyrgyzstan, timed to coincide with the 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). This event, organized in partnership with the Government Office, the Ministry of Natural Resources, Ecology and Technical Supervision of the Kyrgyz Republic, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Unison Group, the Green Alliance with the active participation of stakeholders, provides an opportunity to join efforts and create plans to combat the challenges of change climate, contributing to the sustainable development of Kyrgyzstan and the entire region.

Kyrgyzstan faces severe impacts of climate change, including increased average temperatures, decreased precipitation, frequent and severe droughts, and an increased threat of natural disasters. These challenges require joint efforts and solutions.

One of the main goals of the forum is to draw the attention of the public, government and international organizations to the problems of climate change in Kyrgyzstan and the region as a whole and to develop strategies and action plans aimed at adapting to climate change and mitigating its consequences. The Forum also aims to develop a national position on the following areas, as determined by the COP28Presidency:

•    Accelerate the implementation of a just, equitable and orderly energy transition and emissions reductions by 2030;
•    Transforming climate finance and creating the basis for new directions for financing;
•    Put nature, people, lives and livelihoods at the center of climate action;
•    Mobilize efforts to conduct a COP with the participation of all stakeholders and ensure full inclusion.

Reaffirming the commitment of the President and Government of Kyrgyzstan to fulfilling its highest climate promise, the concept of carbon neutrality by 2050 has been developed, and the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) Implementation Plan has been prepared as the main mechanism for action to reduce emissions and adapt to climate change.

Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Kyrgyz Republic Bakyt Torobaev has highlighted, “As part of the National Development Strategy of the Kyrgyz Republic until 2040, we set ourselves the task of ensuring environmental sustainability and minimizing the negative impact from the activities of industrial and economic facilities. We also focus our efforts on developing environmentally oriented businesses, integrating green economy principles into sectoral policies, and introducing low-waste, resource-saving technologies. Kyrgyzstan is at a crucial time when we must build the future of our country, taking into account climate-resilient technologies and policies. Our work together and decisive action can bring about positive change and create a sustainable future for all.”

Deputy of the Jogorku Kenesh of the Kyrgyz Republic Kamila Talieva, quoted “ The President of the Kyrgyz Republic at the 26th UN Conference emphasized Kyrgyzstan’s readiness to achieve carbon neutrality, energy efficiency and climate resilience. The Parliament is ready to provide full support and calls on local authorities and international organizations to work together in the direction of climate resilience. I wish everyone fruitful work and believe that this forum will open the way for us to confront climate change and implement the points of the Paris Agreement.”

UNDP Resident Representative in the Kyrgyz Republic Alexandra Solovieva noted, “Even though Kyrgyzstan is responsible for only three-hundredths of a percent of the global carbon concentration in the atmosphere, establishing a long-term vision of carbon neutrality becomes equally important and beneficial for Kyrgyzstan. This vision envisions how long-term adaptation and mitigation goals will be strategically integrated into development plans and further invested. They can be a breakthrough in creating a triple bottom line – a multi-crisis resilient nation, a green economy and sustainable development”.

“The National Forum on Climate Change has become an important platform for uniting the efforts of ministries, international development partners and representatives of the private sector, business and youth on the development of national policies on adaptation and mitigation consequences of climate change in Kyrgyzstan. I express my hope that the National Forum will make a significant contribution to the overall coordination and formation of the national agenda of COP-28.”, said Nurzat Abdyrasulova,  Member of the Board of the  Green Alliance KG, President of Unison Group.

Ilgiz Kambarov, Executive Director of the Green Alliance KG, shared that the scale of internal climate migration will increase by 2050 to 200,000 people, or 3.9 percent of the population, recalling that cities and villages in the northern, central and southwestern regions, especially mountainous areas will become hotspots for internal climatic “outflow” as parts of our planet become less habitable, people are already moving, migrating to neighboring cities and countries in search of more favorable conditions. He emphasized that colleagues from Unison are launching a project to assist in the inclusion of internal migrants in the Green Renovation process in Kyrgyzstan. “The project aims to promote climate-resilient housing plans, including energy-efficient technologies for prefabricated housing, thereby enabling vulnerable populations, especially women householders living in mountainous areas with limited resources, to adapt to climate change. This will also simplify the process of registering houses with the State Registration Service and, in turn, improve the provision of public services,” he noted. He also shared current projects that the Green Alliance, together with the Kyrgyz diaspora in Germany, the global diaspora organization Choiro, with the support of IOM Kyrgyzstan, is conducting online fundraising for two projects in the regions. “The goal of the project is to improve trust between the diaspora and the local community through transparent financial reporting, monitoring projects supported by the diaspora through the Ashar platform,” Kambarov concluded.

During the Forum, a variety of events were held, including panel sessions, presentations and other forms of interaction, providing an opportunity to delve deeply into climate change issues, gather diverse views and ideas, and develop concrete recommendations and solutions for the COP28 position.
The Forum covered a wide range of topics, including climate change policy, energy, resilience and adaptation, and improving interactions between government, academic, private and civil society sectors.
As a result of the forum, the following work was done:
• Development of proposals from civil society, the private sector, youth and academia for a national position for the COP28 in 2023;
• Formation of proposals and recommendations in the areas of energy, water and glaciers;
• Develop recommendations to improve sectoral participation in climate change adaptation and mitigation to strengthen strategic plans;
• Formation of proposals and recommendations to achieve carbon neutrality of the Kyrgyz Republic by 2050;
• Formation of proposals and recommendations for making changes to national climate policy;
• Active public participation in the decision-making process on climate change.
The National Climate Change Forum in Kyrgyzstan was an important event for ensuring sustainable development. Participants are committed to working together to make an active contribution to addressing climate change and creating a more sustainable future for all.