February 19, Nur-Sultan. Today, experts in the field of environmental protection and public health, as well as the representatives of state bodies, industries and NGOs discussed the issues of enhancing Kazakhstan’s capacity in chemical safety, as well as draft amendments to the Environmental Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan on the regulation of hazardous chemicals.

Kazakhstan is a party to multilateral environmental agreements that assign the country obligations in the field of environmental protection and chemical safety, including the Stockholm, Rotterdam and Basel Conventions.

In recent years, the statistics has shown an increase in the number of noncommunicable diseases, especially among children who are more sensitive to environmental risks than adults. This factor can potentially be attributed to the quality of the environment, uncontrolled use of pesticides and chemicals.

 According to the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Kazakh citizens mostly suffer from respiratory diseases, which in 2017 accounted for 42.9% of all diseases in the country. Between 2009 and 2016, the cases of asthma among children increased by 2.6 times, and cancer - by 60 per cent. The frequency of congenital anomalies increased from 604.1 cases per 100 thousand people in 2008 to 999.0 cases in 2015.

Furthermore, according to WHO, the average mortality rate because of unintentional poisoning in Kazakhstan in the period 2009-2014 amounted to 2 people per 100 thousand people. This is the third place among the countries of the European region. A high mortality rate from unintentional poisoning indicates a weak regulation and control of chemical safety issues at enterprises.

In this regard, it is crucial to improve national capacities for the rational management of chemicals to fulfil international obligations and minimize impact on human health and the environment.

Experts also discussed the issues of Kazakhstan’s legislation improvement on chemical safety and an integrated approach to chemicals management.

The newly launched UNDP’s project “Strengthening Kazakhstan's Chemicals Management Capacities by Enforcing Commitments under International Multilateral Environmental Agreements” aims to support the country's efforts to build capacities to implement an integrated approach to chemicals management at the national level.

 

For more information, please contact the UNDP Communications Office in Kazakhstan by e-mail: undp.kz.media@undp.org or tel. +7 (7172) 696544 (ext. 2402, 2404).

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