Kazakh Students Propose Solutions to Tackle Climate Change at Voice of Youth Forum at KazGUU

NUR-SULTAN – The students of Nur-Sultan-based universities voiced their practical recommendations on climate change issues at the Voice of Youth: Uniting the World to Tackle the Climate Change debates on Oct. 28, which took place at the KazGUU university. The event was dedicated to the forthcoming 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow and as part of the events around UN Day, which is celebrated on Oct. 24.

Among invited speakers at the event there were UN Resident Coordinator in Kazakhstan Ms. Michaela Friberg-Storey, British Ambassador to Kazakhstan Kathy Leach and Ambassador to Italy in Kazakhstan Mr. Marco Alberti. Photo credit: press service of UN office in Kazakhstan.

The youth delegates from three universities proposed their initiatives on three thematic areas including climate change, biodiversity and waste management.

The first team from the KazGUU university, who raised the greenhouse effect issue, proposed to invest in electric vehicles, retrofit buildings to become energy efficient and phase out coal-fired power plants to reduce putting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

“I consider air and water pollution to be the toughest ecological problems in Kazakhstan as they have a significant impact on our lives. We breathe the smog that is produced by car exhaust fumes or we go on holiday to lakes that are littered with garbage. So, I think we should take little steps like sorting garbage or planting trees,” said Adel Baigarayeva, fourth year student of the Translation Studies department.

A group of students from the Eurasian National University presented their study on the benefits of waste management. They conducted a comparative analysis of how raw materials are recycled in Kazakhstan and other countries and revealed positive and negative impacts of the system on the environment. 

Students recommended regulating the system of waste collection and appointing people, who will bear administrative responsibility for non-compliance with waste management requirements.

The youth event is a part of the process of involvement of young people, which started in 2019. Photo credit: press service of UN office in Kazakhstan.

As for Kazakhstan, they recommended establishing waste management education, developing financial incentives for reporting abuses and creating an effective monitoring system.

The team of Nazarbayev University students covered the topic of rapidly decreasing global biodiversity. Youth delegates proposed to increase tariffs on water consumption and use such structures as lysimeters, warehouses and irrigation systems to better manage water resources.

“I think each of us may contribute, using a conscious approach in our everyday lives. If each of us tries not to throw trash on the ground, save water, switch off the light or not use plastic, it will be easier to achieve our common goal and prevent a global catastrophe,” said Nikita Durnev, second year student of Political Science and International Relations department.

The participants said that people can indeed consume consciously if they educate themselves as responsible citizens should and form good habits. 

“Not many people can come to the store and remember how many liters of water it takes to produce clothes, and then choose not to buy all those trendy things. It is very difficult to make such difficult, but responsible choices,” they said.

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