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Central Asia: External Consultations with Central Asia Stakeholders on New WBG Environment Strategy Held in Almaty

February 16, 2010

Currently, the World Bank Group is holding broad external consultations with key stakeholders across the world to help in the preparation of the new corporate Environment Strategy. As part of this process, the consultation workshop for Central Asia was held in Almaty World Bank office on February 4, 2010, targeting representatives from five countries of the region. The sessions included more than 20 representatives of the ministries of environment and finance, environment protection agencies, think tanks, and environmental NGOs from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.

The interest in consultations was very high and resulted in 100 percent attendance of all registered participants. During the consultations two breakout working groups actively participated in the discussions and gave their comments and recommendations on various issues being considered in preparation of the Environment Strategy, such as challenges and opportunities in achieving environmentally sustainable development, the role of the Bank in addressing these challenges and opportunities, the ways to achieve the balance between economic development and environmental sustainability, and the others.

"As a central mandate, the World Bank Group has an enduring commitment to ensure that its support to client countries leads to sustainable outcomes that are economically, socially and environmentally sustainable,” said Mr. John Kellenberg, ECA Sector Manager for Environment and Natural Resource Management, in his welcome address during the opening session. “The new Environment Strategy will take into account a set of principles, realities and challenges faced in implementation of environmental activities such as climate change and urbanization. Moreover, the new strategy will propose an approach for achieving the environmental sustainability of the project portfolio financed by the World Bank Group.”

The participants noted that consultations helped elevate key strategic issues and environmental concerns and provided them an adequate opportunity to speak out and be listened by the World Bank representatives. Most of the participants provided their suggestions to improve future consultations.

The results of the broad external consultations with key stakeholders across the world will be accumulated in the new World Bank Group Environment Strategy which is expected to be finalized by December 2010.