15 Oct 2018 Press release Chemicals & waste

UN Environment helps Kyrgyzstan to detox

UN Environment’s Chemicals and Health Branch is providing wide-ranging support to Kyrgyzstan in a bid to help reduce its intensive use of chemicals in agriculture, mining and energy.

Kyrgyzstan’s national development strategy for its energy and fuel sectors outlines the country’s vision to secure economic growth through the energy sector in a way that increases efficiency, facilitates the introduction of technology and secures the needs of future generations.

Although a reduction in pesticides supplies occurred following the collapse of the USSR as well as a reduction in purchasing capacity of agricultural enterprises in Kyrgyzstan, farmers’ yields had been steadily on the decline, as they shifted to using an excessive amount of synthetic products that harm soil fertility.

The project, which is funded by UN Environment’s Special Programme on Institutional Strengthening for Chemicals and Waste Management, started in 2017 and is helping the country tighten its legislation on chemicals, improve the exchange of information and national reporting, and boost awareness on the safety of chemicals.

The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), the Independent Ecological Expertise Public Association, and other partners who are also supporting the project are designing training packages for decision-makers, customs officials, and other chemical focal points in Kyrgyzstan.

A system for national agencies to report progress towards complying with international conventions on chemicals is also being set up, ensuring that the Central Asian country complies with the treaties in a coherent way.

October 2018 project update

Kyrgyzstan established its Special programme Project Coordination Committee and the “Interdepartmental Working Group for Coordinating Mechanisms in Chemicals Management” in April and May 2017 respectively. Relevant stakeholders from these groups attended the Special Programme inception workshop to introducing them to the goals and initial results of the project.

Since the inception workshop, several other milestones have been achieved, specifically:

  • A training workshop on "Synergy of international agreements in the field of chemical safety" was held for the benefit of Basel, Rotterdam, Stockholm, and Minamata Convention National Focal Points as well as the SAICM National Focal Point, and other relevant stakeholders. Training materials were developed in preparation for this workshop which is expected to contribute to the sustainability of the project outputs.
  • A review and analysis of existing legislation related to chemicals and waste was carried out to identify gaps and shortcomings in national legislation and updating them such that they take into account the lifecycle management approach to product development and use. Based on the results of this work, a draft action plan was developed to strengthen and improve the national legislative framework of the Kyrgyz Republic.
  • A memorandum with the Door Media foundation was signed to facilitate the implementation of an awareness raising campaign for relevant stakeholders and the public on issues related to chemical safety in Kyrgyzstan.