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NUR-SULTAN (TCA) — The Government of Kazakhstan, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Kazakhstan and the Bitfury Group have announced a joint plan to pursue a climate action project in the country. The parties will work to decrease greenhouse gases in Kazakhstan through increasing forest areas and enhancing forest management practices, as well as increasing public awareness of climate change, UNDP in Kazakhstan said in a press release.

The global Biodiversity Finance Initiative (BIOFIN) provides countries with a methodology that shows innovative steps to measure current biodiversity expenditures, assess financial needs, identify the most appropriate financial mechanisms and advise on how to implement these mechanisms to achieve national biodiversity goals.

One of the solutions is offsetting carbon emission through the storage potential of healthy, intact forests. The mechanism is designed to promote the mitigation of climate change and at the same time increase investment in forests, as well as advance sustainable management of existing forest ecosystems and biodiversity.

“Using innovative financial solutions, such as carbon offsets through the creation of new forests and improving forest management, we will achieve two global goals — the conservation of forest biodiversity and the reduction of carbon footprint,” said Yakup Beris, UNDP Resident Representative in Kazakhstan.

UNDP has developed several legislative proposals for the draft of a new Environmental Code. This includes new methodologies for forest assessments and the development and implementation of forest carbon projects in Kazakhstan under the UN’s climate agreements.

“In the future, we plan to continue to assist the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan in improving environmental legislation and demonstrating new finance solutions to environmental management. It is key to drive the interest and role of the private sector in this agenda,” concluded Yakup Beris.

The Paris Agreement and the UN Sustainable Development Goals state that a full transition to a sustainable, low-carbon and climate-resilient world will require significant investment and innovation as well as a serious shift in investment both by the state and the private sector.

Kazakhstan ratified the Paris Agreement in 2016 and pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 15% by 2030 through mobilizing innovative solutions with the participation of the private sector.

“Today, the main air pollutants in Kazakhstan are from the transport and energy industry. Every year, the ecosystem load is growing, and without natural carbon sinks, that is, green spaces, the concentration of greenhouse gases will only grow and it is almost impossible to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement,” said Magzum Mirzagaliyev, Minister of Ecology, Geology and Nature Resources of Kazakhstan.

“At the same time, in addition to the efforts of the state, the support and environmental responsibility of the private sector is extremely important in this case. Therefore, we welcome Bitfury’s initiatives in the field of climate conservation,” he said.

Bitfury, a leading emerging technologies company, is dedicated to tackling climate change and other environmental challenges around the world.

“We fully support the sustainable development goals to protect our planet, and we are inspired by Kazakhstan’s national initiative to create offset mechanisms to neutralize greenhouse gas emissions. I look forward to our joint efforts to support the forests of Kazakhstan and reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Vadim Krutov, Head of Administration at Bitfury.

To support Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Ecology, Geology and Natural Resources UNDP in collaboration with Bitfury are developing a project for reducing greenhouse gas emissions through the support of forests.

According to experts, the total volume of forest carbon in Kazakhstan is estimated at more than 718.3 million tons of CO2 equivalent. The increase of forest cover from 4.6% to 5% will help increase carbon absorption by forests additionally to 2.9 million tons of CO2 equivalent annually. As well as their importance for carbon, healthy forests also provide essential services including water regulation, biodiversity as well as food and other benefits such as medicines and ecotourism.

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