Working together to build a future in harmony with nature

4 December 2020

On 26 November 2020, UNESCO Cluster Office in Almaty in cooperation with UNECE and UN Environment Programme (UNEP) organized an online High-Level Policy Dialogue Building a Resilient Future in Coalition with Nature in Central Asia.

This event brought together more than 60 participants, including decision-makers from five Central Asian countries Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan UN agencies, thought-leaders from environmental community, and multidisciplinary and sectoral stakeholders to share knowledge, strengthen and scale actions in building back better from the COVID-19 pandemic. The Policy Dialogue also served to enhance regional cooperation with a new vision of a better future for the countries of Central Asia, in harmony with nature.

UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Natural Sciences at the opening

The event helped to take stock of the considerable efforts already made and underway by the Central Asian countries with regards to the environment at national and regional levels. The countries were able to showcase their work on nature protection and identify priority areas, such as ecotourism, green economies, rational use of natural resources and low-carbon development, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and related economic challenges.

Speakers called for recovery efforts that would emphasize nature-based solutions and increase the resilience of all people to natural and human-made hazards. Specific areas mentioned for country-level action included green recovery, geoparks, ecotourism development and enhanced scientific cooperation. Interest was also expressed for increasing the number of protected areas and UNESCO-designated sites in the region.

In light of the exchange of ideas and experience through the dialogue, recommendations emerged for future action, and an outcome summary document is currently being finalized.

We need to work together at all levels to build a future of life in harmony with nature.

Ms Shamila Nair-Bedouelle, UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Natural Sciences

In March 2020, UNEP and UNESCO launched a global initiative Coalition for Nature that aims to focus on how to reconnect to nature and live in harmony with it, enabling the transmission of the value of nature and living things for future generations. This was the first event taking place under the platform of this global initiative.


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