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National Endowment for Democracy

Corruption VS Environment

Kazakhstan is currently in a transitional phase, from authoritarianism to liberalization. The new President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Kasym-Zhomart Tokayev has repeatedly stated the need for political reforms. However, the state of the environment is still alarming. Neither the authorities nor the majority of the population is adequately aware of the environmental issues. Nature conservation is not only a priority but also the periphery of the public agenda.

However, in 2019, the state began to pay more attention to "green" issues. In June 2019, the Ministry of Ecology, Geology, and Natural Resources was re-established: there has been no environmental department in Kazakhstan for five years. At the end of December, the government approved the draft of a new Environmental Code. But the ideology of it is not so much about preserving nature as about increasing penalties for environmental damage.

In the last 2-3 years, there has also been an increase in civic activism in Kazakhstan, which first began in the online format and then was brought offline - in the form of creating groups and movements, holding meetings, and rallies. Thus, despite the absence of classical political life in the country, society still influences the decisions of the authorities through pressure from below.

The #1 goal of the project: prove that the construction of a dozen ski resorts in the national park can lead to the destructiveness for nature and the economic inconsistency under the conditions of climate change.


The #2 goal of the project: prove to the authorities that coal-fired power plants are the main threat to the well-being of residents of the listed cities; convince the authorities to finance the conversion of stations to gas and renewable energy sources, ultimately - to reduce atmospheric pollution in cities in measurable terms by 30% in 5 years...

The #3 goal of the project: prove the high risks and economic senselessness of the construction of nuclear power plants in Kazakhstan if there are ample opportunities for the development of renewable energy sources - solar, wind, and also obtained from waste incineration.

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