SCO Secretary General gives insights into prospects of environmental cooperation among SCO member states

Photo credit: Viktor Fedyunin/Kazinform

Secretary General of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Zhang Ming, in an exclusive interview with Kazinform spoke about global environmental issues, as well as current projects and prospects for environmental cooperation among the SCO member states.

Zhang Ming highlighted the urgent and worsening issue of global climate change, noting the increasing frequency of environmental disasters worldwide, which pose serious threats and challenges to the development and security of all countries.

“In the SCO space, we are also faced with several current threats and challenges, such as the shortage and uneven distribution of water resources, floods and freshets, desertification and salinization, the ecological crisis of the Aral Sea and frequent extreme weather conditions. Therefore, the SCO firmly adheres to the course of sustainable development and attaches great importance to cooperation in the field of environmental protection, environmental safety, climate change and rational environmental management,” notes Secretary General of the SCO.

He emphasized the significant focus on advancing the environmental agenda during Kazakhstan's chairmanship in the SCO, highlighting the intensive efforts being made to bring global attention to environmental issues.

“At the initiative of the Kazakhstani side, the member states are increasing meaningful interaction and implementing various projects in such areas as scientific and technical cooperation, education and training, exchange of information and experience, “green” financing in the areas of environmental protection and monitoring, environmental safety, biodiversity, climate change, waste management, energy conservation and emissions reduction,” says Zhang Ming.

He noted that the forthcoming meeting of the CHS SCO in Astana will see the adoption of a pivotal document - Statement of the CHS SCO “On ensuring the safety of drinking water and sanitation.”

“The document noted the need to pay increased attention to sustainable development and rational use of water resources, their integrated management, the relevance of promoting effective and efficient water use, as well as the need to expand cooperation and partnerships in ensuring access to safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene for all,” adds Zhang Ming.

SCO Secretary General also detailed the efforts made to implement the SCO Year of Ecology Action Plan, adopted on October 26, 2023, at a meeting of the Council of Heads of Government of the SCO member states in Bishkek. He mentioned various organized events such as round tables, seminars, interactive games, environmental activities, and educational lectures, all aimed at expanding environmental cooperation agreements for sustainable and green development in the SCO region.

Zhang Ming outlined the steps being taken to implement the decision to establish 2024 as the SCO Year of Ecology.

“In order to implement the decision to establish 2024 as the SCO Year of Ecology, on July 8, 2024 in Qingdao (Shandong Province, China) on the sidelines of the SCO Forum on Green Development, we are organizing the Sub-forum “SCO Year of Ecology 2024”, which includes two panel sessions on the topics: “Main environmental challenges and practical experience of the SCO countries in overcoming them” and “Efforts of the SCO countries to manage global biodiversity.” I am convinced that this forum will create a new platform and opportunities for discussing environmental cooperation between member states,” adds Secretary General of the SCO.

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