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UNECE and international experts review progress in Uzbekistan’s environmental performance

UNECE and international experts review progress in Uzbekistan’s environmental performance

Upon request by the Government of Uzbekistan, UNECE will review the country’s environmental performance for a third time, 10 years after the previous (second) review took place. To ensure comprehensive information and objective analysis for the review, a team of 19 experts from different countries and international organizations – OECD, WHO, UNEP and UNECE – are participating in a field mission to Uzbekistan from 25 February to 5 March 2019.

The Environmental Performance Review (EPR) will focus on the country’s progress in greening its economy, particularly the energy, industry, agriculture, transport and health sectors. It will evaluate the Government’s efforts to abate air pollution, improve water quality, reduce waste, conserve biodiversity and manage land resources. A specific focus of this review is on the consequences of the Aral Sea disaster. The third review comes exactly at the right moment as the country is revising its legal and policy frameworks for environmental protection and augmenting efforts towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Uzbekistan is demonstrating a strong commitment to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development with the recent adoption of a national SDG resolution and current work to develop a set of indicators to monitor the implementation of national SDG targets. The third EPR will examine how the SDGs are being put into practice, whether the necessary resources have been allocated and responsibilities are clear for the achievement of the SDGs and what concrete results have already been accomplished, in particular in the environmental area.

During the field mission, the team will meet governmental officials and representatives of international organizations, academia and civil society. It will visit various sites such as protected areas, landfills, power stations and the Aral Sea area. The outcomes of the EPR will be peer reviewed by the UNECE Committee on Environmental Policy in November 2019, with the participation of high-level officials from Uzbekistan.

The EPR of Uzbekistan is being organized by UNECE in cooperation with the country’s State Committee on Ecology and Environmental Protection. Three countries have delegated their experts for this EPR: Hungary is providing an expert on agriculture and environment; Italy delegated an expert on human settlements; and Portugal is providing an expert on international cooperation. OECD is delegating an expert on water management, UNEP provides experts on environmental monitoring and on climate change, and WHO is seconding an expert on environmental health. The review is supported financially by the Government of Switzerland and the German Federal Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety and the German Federal Environment Agency through their Advisory Assistance Programme.

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