6 Ensure environmental sustainability

Where we are?

 MDG 7 Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan has made progress and on the way to become an environmentally sustainable country.

Target 9. To integrate the principles of sustainable development into the country’s policies and programmes and reverse the loss of environmental resources

The lack of an ecosystem approach in developing and implementing economic and social programmes, and non-compliance with the principles of comprehensive and balanced environment quality management have been named as the main issues in achieving the environmental sustainability. However, Kazakhstan has achieved some progress across a number of indicators during the reporting period. Specific measures undertaken to improve the regulatory framework include; optimisation of the bio-diversity management structure and regulation processes; an active involvement in the international projects, which will allow us to predict whether this target will be achieved, provided there are continuous positive dynamics in the indicators. In the future it is necessary to continue the efforts undertaken to improve the legislation related to nature and resources, in compliance with the accepted international conventions and regional documents; to put in place sustainable mechanisms for cooperation with the Central Asian States to develop a regional environmental policy to help address transboundary environmental issues. Studying the international experience with environment insurance and off-budget environment funds is important with the view of potential implementation in Kazakhstan.

Target 10. To halve, by 2015, the proportion of people without sustainable access to clean drinking water and main sanitary technical facilities

In terms of water supply, Kazakhstan is one of the Eurasian countries suffering from water deficit. The main issue is related to the safe water supply and waste management, which are the key factors that impact public health. As of today, at least 10 percent of households do not have running water and about a quarter of the population has no access to a proper sewage system. To mitigate the above institutional challenges, it is necessary to give statutory authority to the Water Resources Committee of the Ministry of Agriculture to approve the technical requirements for the rural water supply facilities at the stage when the TOR for design engineering are issued. The other issue that needs to be addressed, is the implementation of the National Programme on Integrated Water Resources Management in Kazakhstan. The quality of water supply networks can be improved through the use of the state-of-the-art energy and resource saving technologies, equipment, materials and water consumption metering devices. It is necessary to review and reduce the water consumption rates for both the urban and rural population and to enhance the mechanisms for drinking water supply subsidies.

Target 11. To achieve, by 2020, a significant improvement in the lives of the rural population residing in the most unfavourable social, housing and ecological environment

Addressing this target seems quite challenging when it comes to rural areas. In spite of a number of programmes implemented by the government to enhance villages and develop the agricultural sector, the living standards of rural population are much lower, compared to those of the urban population. There are reasons for this, including the left-over fund ing applied to the rural social sector (especially true in times of economic downturn), under-developed infrastructure, primarily in the transport and telecommunications networks. Funding of small and remote villages is not economically profitable, which results in their degradation and outmigration and aggravates employment and housing issues. This problem requires conducting a detailed review and taking comprehensive decisions involving all government levels. Special focus should be on awareness, education and advocacy activities. The positive trends in the indicators based on the official statistical data reflect the effective efforts undertaken to address the issues by 2009. However, as the indicators show, the proportion of the rural population with access to improved sanitation systems has not yet reached 50 percent. Some hope can be derived from the implementation of the Road Map Programme, which has commended itself highly in the conditions of downturn both in urban and rural areas.

Targets for MDG7
  1. Integrate the principles of sustainable development into country policies and programmes; reverse loss of environmental resources
  2. Reduce biodiversity loss, achieving, by 2010, a significant reduction in the rate of loss
    • Proportion of land area covered by forest and proportion of species threatened with extinction
    • CO2 emissions, total, per capita and per $1 GDP (PPP)
    • Consumption of ozone-depleting substances
    • Proportion of fish stocks within safe biological limits
    • Proportion of total water resources used
    • Proportion of terrestrial and marine areas protected
  3. Reduce by half the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation
    • Proportion of population using an improved drinking water source
    • Proportion of population using an improved sanitation facility
  4. Achieve significant improvement in lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers, by 2020
    • Proportion of urban population living in slums