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News: June 2009

5 JUNE - WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY

Source: CARNet, 5.06.2009

World Environment Day (WED) was established by the UN General Assembly in 1972 to mark the opening of the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment.

Commemorated yearly on 5 June, WED is one of the principal vehicles through which the United Nations stimulates worldwide awareness of the environment and enhances political attention and action. The day's agenda is to:

The theme for WED 2009 is 'Your Planet Needs You-UNite to Combat Climate Change'. It reflects the urgency for nations to agree on a new deal at the crucial climate convention meeting in Copenhagen some 180 days later in the year, and the links with overcoming poverty and improved management of forests.

This years host is Mexico which reflects the growing role of the Latin American country in the fight against climate change, including its growing participation in the carbon markets.

Mexico is also a leading partner in UNEP's Billion Tree Campaign. The country, with the support of its President and people, has spearheaded the pledging and planting of some 25 per cent of the trees under the campaign. Accounting for around 1.5 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, the country is demonstrating its commitment to climate change on several fronts.

Mexican President Felipe Calderon states that the WED celebration will further underline Mexico's determination to manage natural resources and deal with the most demanding challenge of the 21st century climate change.

ENERGY SECTOR ACCOUNTING FOR 2/3 OF ALL EMISSIONS TO BECOME A PRIORITY IN THE FIGHT AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE

Source: CARNet, 5.06.2009

The Kyrgyz Republic joining the world community to combat the climate change is planning to start building its existing technological capacity for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the the energy sector. This priority is explained by the results of the analysis of the general pattern of greenhouse gas emissions made by sectors, which shows that energy sector accounts for the two thirds of all emissions in Kyrgyzstan, where auto transport makes up a lion share. This was stated at todays press-conference dedicated to the World Environment Day by the deputy Director of the State Agency on Environment Protection and Forestry, Aitkul Burkhanov. He also said that Kyrgyzstan today is facing serious problems related with the climate change, which are partly due to shrinkage of drinking water and cited the following figures: 2000 of total 8200 glaciers have already melted, average speed of melting makes up 8 meters annually.

In the present situation, we should take emergency measures on protection of river banks, restoration and expanding of forest funds taking into account their impact on the river flow regime, which on the whole will demand significant financial resources, Aitkul Burkhanov stressed.

Zharas Takenov, International Senior Programme Officer of UNDP Kyrgyzstan noted that it was for the fifth year tnow that the State Agency on Environment Protection and Forestry was celebrating the World Environment Day together with UNDP and told about their joint efforts made so far to address the climate change. He stressed that the effective work in this area first and foremost requires good anlysis what is going on with climate in our country? That is why, one of the most important areas of UNDP-SAEP&F joint activity is preparation of National Communications on Climate Change.

Other two important areas, according to Zharas Takenov, are mitigation of climate change and adaptation measures. Concerning the first area the UNDP in Kyrgyzstan is implementing several projects, most importantly , the project on development of renewable energy sources, including micro HPS. With support of the UNDP there have been installed 13 pilot plants. In addition assistance has been provided in preparation of the law on RES and Memorandum of Understanding signed between the UNDP and the Directorate of Small and Medium Size Energy., uder which is planned to build 12 small hydropower stations in remote regions of the republic with a total capacity of 270 mW annually.

Another project in this area concerns increasing energy efficiency of buildings, which is to build a pilot school in the south of the republic. It is also assumed that the new energy saving technologies to be used in construction of this school, will make the building more adapted to local climatic conditions which can result in lower energy costs, and consequently reduce GHG emissions.