Natural resources and environmental improvement — results of the work of Ministry of Ecology, Geology and Natural Resources

At a briefing in the Central Communication Service under the President of Kazakhstan, Minister of Ecology, Geology and Natural Resources Serikkali Brekeshev spoke about the results of the ministry's work for this year and reported on the mid-term prospects of the ministry.

The work of the ministry is carried out in 4 main directions.

These are the improvement of the quality of the environment, geology, water resources, forestry and wildlife.

According to the results of environmental monitoring this year, the cities of Temirtau, Nur-Sultan, Almaty, Aktobe, Atyrau, Ust-Kamenogorsk, Karaganda, Balkhash, Zhezkazgan, Shymkent are characterized by a high level of air pollution.

The reasons for high pollution are deterioration of equipment, ineffectiveness of dust treatment facilities at factories, lack of modernization and reconstruction, and the use of coal.

In the field of waste management, there is an acute problem of inconsistency with the sanitary and environmental requirements of solid waste landfills, a low level of solid waste processing and spontaneous dumps.

“In general, a new Environmental Code has been adopted to improve the ecological situation. We have explained more than once about its main directions at various sites. The national project Zhasyl Kazakhstan and Roadmaps for improving the environmental situation in the context of regions were approved. Work is underway on them. Memorandums have been signed with enterprises, according to which it is planned to reduce emissions,” the minister said.

In the Karaganda region, as a result of negotiations, ArcelorMittal Temirtau (220 thousand tons) plans to reconstruct boiler equipment and gas cleaning equipment, as well as move the lime kiln outside the city of Temirtau. The company is committed to reducing air emissions by 30% by 2025. They will also plant 500 thousand trees around the city of Temirtau.

In the Atyrau region, an oil refinery has started implementing the Tazalyk project with reclamation of the Tukhlaya Balka evaporation pond. As for the part that is on the balance sheet of the akimat, reclamation began in August. This year, 300 million tenge was allocated. Reclamation works will be completed in 2023.

At the same time, the reconstruction of sewage treatment facilities was carried out on the left bank. Reconstruction of the old WWTP on the right bank will be completed in 2023. In addition, it is planned to clean the Kvadrat evaporation pond.

In the East Kazakhstan region, Kazzinc JSC will reduce emissions by 20% by 2025 using new available technologies.

In the Mangystau region, being an active oil-producing region, there is an ecological problem of the accumulation of oil sludge in the oil fields. Thus, the KazMunayGas company has begun liquidation and utilization of tons of oil products. More than one million tons (1.080 million tons) of 2.5 million tons have already been liquidated. The work will be completed in 2024.

The elimination of the historical pollution of Koshkar-ata has also begun. For this, 1 billion tenge was allocated from the republican budget this year, 3 billion tenge for 2022, and 500 million tenge for 2023.

In the Aktobe region, a ferroalloy plant has begun a project to modernize and reconstruct workshops. As a result, emissions will be reduced by 30%. It is also planned to modernize the WWTP by 2025.

In Almaty, the Samruk-Kazyna Fund made a decision to build a combined cycle plant at CHPP-2 and modernize CHPP-3.

The share of waste recycling for 9 months amounted to 20.2%. In the same period in 2020, the share was 15.8%.

To significantly reduce the volume of generated solid waste, the Waste to Energy mechanism has been introduced at the legislative level. 6 cities have been identified for the construction of waste incineration plants. The first auction was held, an investor was identified. Construction work will begin in 2022. Private investments will amount to 292 billion tenge. In turn, the state will provide the necessary infrastructure (land plots, electricity, water supply).

Work is underway to recycle and prevent spontaneous dumps. On the basis of cosmomonitoring, more than 7.3 thousand units have been identified to date. 89% of them (6.6 thousand) were liquidated. A number of systemic measures have been taken to address the issue of the formation of spontaneous dumps. In particular, the fines for illegal dumping of waste in places not intended for this have been increased.

Kazakhstan intends to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 15% from 1990 levels (or up to 328 million tons) by 2030. So, for 2019, national greenhouse gas emissions are 2.4% lower than the 1990 level (364 million tons).

According to the minister, a roadmap of measures has been developed, including measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions for all major sectors. In order to implement the course announced by the Head of State on achieving carbon neutrality, together with the Ministry of National Economy, work continues on the development of a draft Carbon Neutrality Strategy until 2060.

“We have prepared a balance of water resources. Currently, the dry cycle continues. To provide our farmers with water, we, together with the Ministry of Agriculture, conducted field trips to the regions. Farmers were informed about the potential risks and the need to prepare for the difficult growing season. As a result, the akimats and farmers have reduced the area of ​​moisture-loving crops: cotton by 17.9 thousand hectares, rice by 9.5 thousand hectares,” Brekeshev said.

Also, the ministry, together with akimats, carried out work on cleaning the canals, installed additional pumps, and introduced operational schedules for water supply.

“Thanks to our active negotiation policy with neighbors, we received more water this year than last year. In general, we were able to additionally receive 700 million m3 of water in the river basin of Syrdarya. By the way, our neighbors had to limit themselves, but they gave us the necessary water. As a result, we have provided irrigation water to farmers in South Kazakhstan regions,” the minister said.

Since 2017, the low water cycle has continued along the Zhaiyk River. In 2020, a joint program with the Russians was adopted for the conservation and restoration of the ecosystem of the Zhaiyk River basin.

To improve the situation, joint research is being carried out from 2020. As a result, measures will be developed to improve the hydrological regime of the river, including by synchronizing the operation of reservoirs located in the river basin in two countries. In order to improve the hydrological regime of the river, the channel is being cleared and dredged.

“We held a conference on Lake Balkhash in August. Experts, water specialists, scientists gathered to talk about the issue. So, in recent years, the average water level in Lake Balkhash has remained at 342.5 m, for us the critical mark is 341 m. Based on the results of the discussion, it was concluded that there is no threat of drying out of Balkhash,” the minister noted.

At the same time, in order to preserve the necessary flow, a special plan of measures has been developed, including dredging and cleaning of water bodies of the Balkhash Lake basin, repairing canals, revising irrigation norms, introducing water-saving technologies and reducing the areas of hygrophilous crops, etc.

To reduce the non-production water loss, the reconstruction of 1,050 km of canals was completed this year. The infrastructure for putting into circulation 78 thousand hectares of irrigated land has been restored. Over 5 years, at least 120 channels with a length of about 2.3 thousand km will be reconstructed.

In his Address, the Head of State focuses on digitalization and the introduction of water-saving technologies due to the projected water shortage. Digitization work began last year. Over the next 5 years, there are plans to digitize 212 channels with a length of more than 3.3 thousand km. The implementation of these measures will save up to 2.2 cubic kilometers.

Within the framework of the national project Zhasyl Kazakstan, it is planned to build 9 reservoirs in 6 regions by 2025 with a total volume of 1.7 billion m3. The construction of reservoirs will reduce the threat of flood events for 20 settlements, put into circulation 195 thousand hectares of new irrigated land, create more than 20 thousand jobs in agriculture.

This year, the construction of the Kensai-Koskorgan-2 reservoir in the Turkistan region was completed. For the rest, a feasibility study or design estimate is underway.

This year, 16 facilities for the construction and reconstruction of group water pipelines are being implemented, of which 8 facilities will be completed by the end of the year. To date, 4 objects have been completed. This is the 2nd stage of the Presnov group water conduit, the transfer of the site and the head water intake of the Eskulin water conduit (2 objects), the construction of a water conduit to the city of Makinsk, Akmola region.

“Thanks to the work carried out, 5 RSs with a population of 5.8 thousand people will get access to high-quality drinking water, and water supply will be improved in 51 RSs and 3 cities with a total population of 203 thousand people in Akmola, Aktobe, Karaganda and Kyzylorda regions. The commissioning of the remaining 8 facilities is planned for 2022-2023,” the minister said.

The main problems in the geological sphere are low replenishment of mineral reserves, decline in production at city-forming enterprises and low investment attractiveness of geological exploration. As a result, it is necessary to strengthen the work in the part of the state geological study of the subsoil.

The approved national project "Sustainable economic growth aimed at improving the welfare of Kazakhstanis" provides for a direction for the development of the geological industry. Over a five-year period, 63 billion tenge is provided from the state budget to increase the investment attractiveness of geological exploration.

By 2025, it is expected to build a repository of stock materials with a data processing center and 2 core storage in the western and central regions of the country.

A regional geological study of the subsoil is planned for an area of ​​more than 680 thousand km2. The work will make it possible to draw up maps of geological content with an assessment of the prospects for the territory of Kazakhstan for the subsequent stages of geological exploration and attracting investment in geological exploration.

“I would like to note separately that the implementation of the Eurasia project has begun this year. The goal of the project is to study the deep structure of the Caspian Basin to identify promising oil and gas objects at great depths up to 18-20 km and their resource assessment. The work consists of 3 stages. This year, at the expense of the state budget, collection, analysis, and processing of all available geological and geophysical data of the Caspian Basin using modern exploration technology is being carried out. The implementation of the second and third phases will be carried out at the expense of private investments,” the minister said.

In order to expand investors' access to high-quality geological information, on behalf of the Head of State, work is underway to create a National Geological Service on the basis of subordinate organizations through the merger of RCGI Kazgeoinform LLP and NKG Kazgeology JSC.

In general, the Service will reduce the time required to obtain high-quality geological information and ensure its storage and provision in accordance with international standards.

The Head of State in his Address also instructed to create an open digital base of geological information. A number of business processes have already been developed in 2020. The information system will be commissioned in 2022.

At present, the forest cover of the republic is 4.7%.

The goal is to bring the rate to 5% by 2030. At the initiative of the President, the Ministry has begun a large-scale landscaping of the country, within the framework of which it is planned to plant 2 billion trees within 5 years. Comprehensive plans for reforestation and afforestation have been approved in all regions. A corresponding Headquarters has been created. This year's tree planting plan has been completed. 130 million trees have been planted on an area of ​​62 thousand hectares. The work will continue.

In order to ensure digital monitoring of the planting of 2 billion trees, an interactive map was created.

On behalf of the Head of State, separate work is being carried out to plant saxaul on the drained bottom of the Aral Sea. This year, sowing will be carried out on an area of ​​100 thousand hectares. In 2022-2025, on an area of ​​250 thousand hectares annually. Thus, by the end of 2025, on the drained bottom of the Aral Sea, forest plantations will be created on an area of ​​1.1 million hectares. This will improve the ecological situation in the region.

In order to develop ecological tourism, private investors have been attracted. A visitor center has been built in the Ile-Alatau National Park, and the construction of a camping has begun. Now the corresponding work has already begun in the other three national parks. These are Altyn Emel, Kulsay Kolderi and Charyn. This year, the volume of investments amounted to 3.9 billion tenge.

The 14th Ulytau National Park has been created in the Karaganda region.

To strengthen administrative and criminal liability for violation of the requirements of forest legislation and in the field of specially protected natural areas, appropriate amendments have been developed to the Criminal and Administrative Procedure Codes.

“Unfortunately, the facts of neglect of nature continue, as evidenced by the recent case of a barbaric attitude towards the relict trees of Lake Kayindy. These are natural monuments. Using this platform, I would like to once again urge the population to take good care of natural resources. Responsibility for nature, ecology lies primarily with ourselves,” Brekeshev said.

In the field of fauna, work is underway to preserve and restore the number of rare and endangered species of ungulates, especially saigas. As a result, there is a positive trend in the increase in the saiga population, which reached 842 thousand, against 334 thousand in 2019. Growth 2.5 times.

In order to combat poaching, the Saiga environmental action is being carried out jointly with the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the National Security Committee. Preventive measures have been intensified, the activities of a number of criminal groups specializing in poaching saigas and other wild animals have been suppressed.

Also in September this year, an agreement was signed with the Russian Federation on the protection, reproduction and use of transboundary saiga populations.

In addition, in order to preserve and manage the Ural population of saigas, we are working to create a state nature reserve Bokeyorda and the Ashchiozek state nature reserve.

A certain amount of work has also been done in the area of ​​fishery development. Thus, the Program for the Development of Fisheries for 10 years has been approved. We focused on fish farming. Its practical implementation has begun. Work is already underway to implement 32 projects with an investment volume of more than 182 billion tenge, with a planned volume of growing 129 thousand tons of fish per year and creating 5.3 thousand jobs.

This year it is expected to grow 12.8 thousand tons of fish, which is 30% more than last year (9 thousand tons). The level of export of fish products is growing.

A number of legislative initiatives have been adopted aimed at creating favorable conditions for the creation of fish farms and fish processing enterprises in the republic. Thanks to the measures taken by businesses and fisheries entities, interest in the implementation of projects for fish farming and fish processing is increasing.

In this regard, the expected growth in fish farming will give a new impetus to the creation of fish farms and fish processing enterprises.

“As for the legislative work, 4 Laws have been signed this year. They are presented on the slide. There are 2 Draft Laws under consideration by the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan. These are ‘On the Responsible Treatment of Animals’ and ‘On the Plant Kingdom’. 5 legislative acts are under development. In particular, we are developing a draft Law ‘On Amendments and Additions to the Code ‘On Subsoil and Subsoil Use’ on Geological Exploration of Subsoil’, as well as the concept of a new Water Code and a Draft Law on the Development of Hunting Economy," concluded Brekeshev.

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