08ASTANA1343, U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL EXPERT DISCUSSES CLIMATE CHANGE WITH

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08ASTANA1343 2008-07-25 01:47 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO5750
RR RUEHAST RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHLH RUEHLN RUEHPW RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHTA #1343 2070147
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 250147Z JUL 08
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 2827
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 0574
RUCNCLS/SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUEHAST/USOFFICE ALMATY 0611

UNCLAS ASTANA 001343 
 
STATE FOR OES, SCA/CEN (O'MARA), SCA/PPD (HOUGE) 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: SENV SOCI PREL ENRG KZ
 
SUBJECT: U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL EXPERT DISCUSSES CLIMATE CHANGE WITH 
KAZAKHSTANI AUDIENCES 
 
1.  As part of its U.S. speaker program, U.S. Embassy Astana 
sponsored the July 7-12 visit to Kazakhstan of environmental law 
expert Dr. John Dernbach in order to familiarize Kazakhstani 
audiences with the concepts of sustainable economic growth and the 
importance of energy conservation in mitigating the effects of 
global climate change.  Dr. Dernbach is Professor of Environmental 
Law at Widener University in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.  He had a 
variety of meetings, public lectures, and round tables with 
Kazakhstani government officials, environmental organizations, 
journalists, USG program alumni, and members of the general public 
in four cities:  Almaty, Astana, Ust-Kamenogorsk, and Ridder.  Dr. 
Dernbach gave practical recommendations to the Ministry of 
Environmental Protection on the Kazakhstani Environmental code and 
on improving energy efficiency. 
 
2.  During his public lectures at the American Cultural Centers in 
Almaty and Ust-Kamenogorsk, Dr. Dernbach explained that with the 
proper policies in place, economic growth and environmental 
protection can go hand in hand, and that ecological preservation can 
actually support other development goals.  He addressed the negative 
effects of global climate change on the Eurasian continent in terms 
of its effects on human health, agriculture, water resources, and 
economic security. Dr. Dernbach's lectures were covered by both 
national and regional media, including the Panorama and Megopolis 
newspapers, KTV, and several internet news sites.  Additionally, 
ecological NGOs in Ridder expressed strong interest in having Dr. 
Dernbach's forthcoming book on sustainable development translated 
into Russian. 
 
3. In a meeting on July 8 with the Ministry of Environmental 
Protection, Dr. Dernbach highlighted the concept of sustainable 
development and the inseparability of economic development and 
environmental protection.  He noted that in the United States, 
states such as California and Pennsylvania have been at the 
forefront of efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  He also 
linked Kazakhstan's desire to become one of the fifty most 
competitive countries in the world to certain benchmarks that 
developed countries must meet in environmental standards.  While Dr. 
Dernbach applauded Kazakhstan for developing a new environmental 
code and a program on sustainable development, he noted several 
omissions from the code and made some specific recommendations.  For 
instance, he suggested several cost-effective measures that 
Kazakhstan could immediately put in place to promote energy 
efficiency and reduce air pollution.  These include building codes 
for new construction, thermostats in office buildings and 
apartments, energy-saving appliances, and emissions standards for 
automobiles.  He also suggested that Kazakhstan begin a program on 
waste management and recycling.  The Ministry of Environmental 
Protection representatives admitted that Kazakhstan currently has 
low energy efficiency standards, and appeared open to considering 
his suggestions. 
 
4. Comment:  This was a particularly effective speaker program.  Dr. 
Dernbach communicated the main conceptual ideas on sustainable 
development in a very persuasive manner.  The program succeeded in 
raising the awareness of diverse audiences in Kazakhstan about the 
issues of sustainable development and climate change, especially its 
relevance to Central Asia.  This program was a good start in 
encouraging discussion of environmental policies and attitudes among 
government officials, NGOs, and youth in Kazakhstan.  In September, 
post will sponsor a follow-on speaker program by bringing to 
Kazakhstan a U.S. expert on waste management and recycling.  End 
Comment.

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