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By Yaroslava Naumenko
ASTANA – Concerned by environmental problems, Kazakhstan is planning to present its “Green Bridge” policy proposal at the “Environment for Europe” conference in Astana in September and at the Rio+20 summit in Brazil in June 2012.
Participants August 17 discussed Green Bridge at the Ministry for Environmental Protection. The idea is meant to combine Europe’s experience and Asia’s efforts in transitioning to a resource-conserving “green economy,” said Kazakhstani environmentalist Bulat Yesekin. He urged abandonment of “brown economies” that only emphasise growth.
“It’s essential to create conditions for investing in green technologies in developing countries,” said Kazakhstani Deputy Environmental Protection Minister Ruslan Bultyrkov.
Central Asian countries could grow fruit instead of cotton, saving enormous amounts of water, suggested Yesekin, who also said the region’s rivers could provide enough hydro-electricity to replace coal-fired and nuclear power stations. The region also has potential for farm fishing, he said.
Planners have created a “road map” for Green Bridge, they said. They plan to draw up a budget for the next five years and to form a council representing Green Bridge’s member-states to select and evaluate environmental projects it could fund.
The planners intend to create a trust fund to stimulate public-private partnerships and to attract investment, said international consultant Claire Sessions.