Kyrgyzstan is a landlocked country and its economy is mainly driven by agriculture, extractive industries and hydropower energy sectors. The economy relies heavily on agriculture (around 40 per cent of total employment) and natural resources. Land degradation and desertification pose serious economic, social and environmental challenges.
The Kyrgyz Government is committed to reversing environmental degradation and promoting inclusive and sustainable economic growth. The transition to more sustainable development pathways has been recognized as a national priority in various policy frameworks. However, the country faces challenges in implementation.
Towards a Solution
To address the above challenge, tailored support to sectoral, macro-economic and thematic policy analysis is a key area for Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE) support. PAGE seeks to place sustainability at the heart of economic policies and practices to advance the 2030 Agenda and supports nations and regions in reframing economic policies and practices around sustainability to foster economic growth, create income and jobs, reduce poverty and inequality, and strengthen the ecological foundations of their economies. PAGE brings together five United Nations agencies: UN Environment Programme, International Labour Organization (ILO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), and the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR). Their combined mandates, expertise and networks can offer integrated and holistic support to countries on inclusive green economy, ensuring coherence and avoiding duplication. PAGE countries are engaged at different stages of a green economy transformation, which provides an ideal platform to initiate South-South cooperation among countries.
South-South and triangular cooperation between Kyrgyzstan and Mongolia provides an opportunity to build and strengthen mutual exchange on green economy policy development and practice between the two neighbouring countries, which is key to the successful implementation of green economy objectives.
This initiative emerged within the framework of an agreement between ILO and UNITAR to strengthen South-South cooperation between PAGE countries. Kyrgyzstan was beginning to promote a green economy and was interested in learning from the PAGE Mongolia experience, including lessons learned, challenges and achievements, as Mongolia was approaching the end of its PAGE-supported programme.
Accordingly, two study visits took place to facilitate peer-to-peer learning between the two countries. The Kyrgyz delegation attended a PAGE Week in Mongolia devoted to green economy issues in September 2017. The delegation included representatives of the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Economy, the Council on Business and Entrepreneurship Development under the Parliament, the State Agency for Environmental Protection and Forestry, as well as the Business Association, JIA.
This visit provided an excellent opportunity for peer-to- peer real-life exchanges among stakeholders directly involved in developing and implementing the policy reform for green economy. The participation of the Kyrgyz counterparts in a number of PAGE events organized throughout the week provided insights into how specific areas of work can be implemented more effectively in Kyrgyzstan, including: sustainable finance strategy; Mongolian Green Credit Fund; platforms for bringing global climate capital to the country; non- banking sustainable finance instruments; and a better understanding of the principles of sustainable finance among business and banking associations and others.
Kyrgyzstanis greatly appreciated the Mongolian experience in the introduction of green procurement at the government level and have made a commitment to replicate the best practices in the Kyrgyzstani context.
During the second study visit, a Mongolian delegation visited Kyrgyzstanin November of 2017 and participated in the forum,”Green Economy from Theory to Practice: New opportunities for business”. The Mongolian counterparts shared their achievements in introducing the green economy at the national level and learned about Kyrgyz experiences in the use of green technologies in business. The Mongolian delegation included representatives of the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, HacBank and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) in Mongolia.
The sustainability and replication elements of this South- South exchange were strong. Due to the similarities in the two countries’ political, historical, cultural, economic and social contexts, peer-to-peer learning was effective and practices from one country were easily adapted to the other. The benefits gained are being put into use over the medium- and longer term. There are plans to continue this successful South-South cooperation in 2018 and beyond both with PAGE and non-PAGE countries. The workstreams include sustainable financing, sustainable public procurement, green economy in education and green skills/jobs. There are plans to explore the Green Employment Projection Model under ILO’s leadership in 2018.
The green jobs agenda has been a cross-cutting and integral element of the exchange. Both countries received the findings of the Green Skills Assessment, conducted in Mongolia by ILO in 2014 and in 2017 in Kyrgyzstan. Within PAGE in Kyrgyzstan, the work on green employment projects is scheduled to continue with the ILO in 2018. In addition, with respect to sustainability, the two countries are using the opportunity provided by other similar United Nations or government programmes to maintain the momentum of the exchange. The new workstream on sustainable finance led by the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the Kyrgyz Finance Ministry initiative on sustainable public procurement offer two examples.
The Kyrgyzstan and Mongolia exchange can serve as a good practice that includes true triangular cooperation, based on the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) Programme for Sustainable Economic Development (PSED) assistance in the form of technical expertise and financial contribution to support the study tours. In addition, the knowledge shared on the Mongolian experience served to integrate new and targeted elements in the implementation of the PAGE programme in Kyrgyzstan to incorporate the inclusive green economy into its policy framework on sustainable development.
Sustainable Development Goal target(s): 8.3, 8.4, 13.2, 17.6, 17.7
Countries/territories involved: Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia
Supported by: ILO
Implementing entities: Partnership for Action on Green Economy (ILO, UNEP, UNITAR, UNIDO, UNDP)
Project status: Ongoing
Project period: 2017 -2019
URL of the practice: goo.gl/M9qWLT; goo.gl/VC8guw; goo.gl/vs8jNz
Name: Mr. Moustapha Kamal Gueye, Coordinator, Green Jobs Programme, Enterprises Department, ILO