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National Capacity Building in Kazakhstan and Central Asia

The First Seminar on Green Growth Policy Tools for Low Carbon Development in Kazakhstan was held in Astana on 2 October 2013 and in Almaty on 3 October 2013, with over 53 participants in attendance.

The Seminar, delivered through a partnership between The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and the Coalition for Green Economy and the Development of G-Global, provided hands-on e-learning sessions to participants based on the ESCAP Low Carbon Green Growth Roadmap (LCGG) e-learning course and ESCAP trainer-of-trainers methodology. It was on this occasion that ESCAP also launched the Low Carbon Green Growth Roadmap E-Learning Tool - a pioneering innovative on-line e-learning course, and the first of its kind in the Russian language to support capacity development activities in Kazakhstan and countries of North and Central Asia.

Mrs. Saltanat Rakhimbekova, Chairwoman of the Board of the Coalition for the Green Economy and the Development of G-Global, noted in her opening remarks to the Seminar that her organization is “the first who not only adopted the concept of "green economy", but also proceeded to action. Our mission is to engage in the policy of Kazakhstan, to expand the awareness of people about what exactly is a green economy. Introduce a new way of thinking - that's the motto of our courses.”

According to Mrs. Rakhimbekova, the seminar will present for the first time in Russian and through a virtual platform,  the Green Growth approach, which is a powerful tool for re-examining the conventional growth paradigm, while show-casing that economic prosperity can go hand-in-hand with ecological sustainability. She added “Green Growth is as one of the strategies to achieve sustainable development through improvement of the ecological quality of growth, and greening the conventional economic systems, while developing a green economy”, quoting the ECSAP LCGG Roadmap.

The LCGGR e-learning course, in five modules, provides an overview of the challenges and opportunities facing economies in the region; a toolbox of green economy/green growth policy instruments which, when combined with appropriate institutional structures, support a transition to greener and resource efficient economies; and over 150 case study examples to aid policy and decision makers in pursuing viable strategies towards inclusive and sustainable growth.

Mr. Rae Kwon Chung, Director of the Environment and Development Division of ESCAP, presented the ESCAP approach to promoting Low Carbon Green Growth in Asia and the Pacific at the Seminar opening, highlighting that “Kazakhstan has all the conditions for a successful transition to a green economy”. Mr. Chung credited first and foremost “the political will and the visionary leadership of His Excellency Mr. Nursultan Nazarbayev, the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan” noting that political leadership is “the key factor needed to support a long term transition from the traditional unsustainable economic model to a green economy and long-term investments in human and natural capital within the grasp of Kazakhstan”. Mr. Chung concluded by stressing that “this transition must begin now, so that the future generations will be able to live in economic prosperity and in harmony with the environment.”

The on-site Seminars will be followed by a six-week, self-paced, hands-on e-learning phase through the ESCAP On-line E-learning Facility - an easy to navigate world-wide platform for sharing knowledge and experience by green growth practitioners. The mix of on-site and on-line Training-of-Trainers Seminars has been expertly developed to enhance the ability and skills of participating key decision-makers to devise green growth/green economy policy responses to foster low carbon development, while effectively tackling issues of resource efficiency, environmental sustainability, poverty reduction and climate change. The on-line facility additionally offers practitioners the opportunity to become members of an on-line green growth community.

Ms. Rakhimbekova stressed that this Seminar was not a stand-alone activity. “This first course in Kazakhstan aims at creating a core group of Trainers-of-Trainers on Green Growth/Green Economy policies to roll out further training activities that will expand the green growth network of practitioners in Kazakhstan and in the sub-region.”

In response to the demands for continuous training in Kazakhstan, ESCAP established a National Green Growth e-Learning Node at the Coalition for Green Economy and the Development of G-Global. The e-learning courses scheduled in the coming months will assist the government, the private sector, and civil society leaders with the preparation and animation of the International Exhibition EXPO 2017 to be held in Astana in 2017, which will focus on the theme "Future Energy".