New Kazakh ministry will focus on environment, preventing poaching and managing water resources

NUR-SULTAN – The newly established Kazakh Ministry of Ecology, Geology and Natural Resources will focus primarily on developing the county’s Environmental Code, establishing mechanisms to fight poaching and deforestation and managing water resources and geological problems, according to an Aug. 3 announcement during the ministry’s first meeting.

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The ministry is expected to submit a proposed environmental code to Parliament by the end of the year. It has also started to develop a long-term strategy for water security of Kazakhstan. The strategy includes the development of water management infrastructure to ensure a safe drinking water supply and the introduction of digital technologies in water accounting.

The work of the department will also focus on combating poaching and deforestation. In the near future, measures will be developed to strengthen the criminal liability for poaching and deforestation offenses.

The geological industry is another priority area of the newly formed ministry. Within a month, measures will be developed to stimulate investors in geological exploration, and geological scientists will be involved in the development of the Geological Exploration Programme.

The new ministry received the duties of other ministries. In particular, the Ministry of Energy transferred its authority to the state policy of environmental protection, solid waste management, protection, control and supervision of the rational use of natural resources. The Ministry of Agriculture transferred to the new department powers regarding the usage and protection of the water fund, water supply, sanitation and forestry. The Ministry of Industry and Infrastructure Development transferred the powers for geological exploration, study and reproduction of the mineral resource base.

Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev formed July 17 the Ministry of Trade and Integration, as well as the Ministry of Ecology, Geology and Natural Resources, the Akorda press service reported. The latter ministry head is Magzum Mirzagaliyev, the former vice minister of energy.

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