ASTANA – Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev focused on the environment and water security at a May 15 meeting of the country’s Security Council, calling for decisive measures to improve the environment, foster a green economy transition and carbon neutrality, reported the Akorda press service.
Tokayev noted the fight against natural and anthropogenic factors threatening environmental security is becoming more urgent. He addressed challenges requiring attention, particularly activities of Soviet-era industrial enterprises, old coal-fired power plants and boiler houses, which have led to ecological deterioration.
“In recent years, the governments of many countries are becoming more active. Decisive measures are being taken to improve the environment, transition to a green economy and achieve carbon neutrality. If we want to have a healthy generation, live in a clean country and be recognized around the world, we need to follow their example,” said the President.
Addressing water security, Tokayev emphasized the need for a systematic approach to the rational use of water and the reduction of losses in all sectors of the economy, including the agro-industrial complex, which makes up the bulk of the total water intake and losses of water resources.
Along with introducing water-saving technologies and developing economic incentives for optimal water consumption, the President noted digitalizing water infrastructure, including water accounting, monitoring and forecasting, is becoming increasingly relevant.
“Our direct responsibility is to ensure access to drinking water for the population and take comprehensive measures to preserve it for future generations,” Tokayev said.
Tokayev also stressed low elimination rates of illegal landfills and waste processing. He instructed the government to strengthen scientific and human capacity in the environmental and water sectors, harmonize national environmental standards with global ones, reduce emissions from industrial enterprises, process municipal solid waste, eliminate spontaneous dumps and reclaim eroded lands.
During the meeting, Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources Zulfiya Suleimenova made a report on the state of environmental safety, as the heads of several state bodies and akims (governors) of the regions reported on certain aspects.