Today, on 27 September, a series of meetings with the heads of SCO Member State environmental protection ministries and agencies kicked off in Moscow. Discussion is underway on the outlook for practical environmental cooperation.
Minister of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation Dmitry Kobylkin welcomed those visiting the Russian capital. «We have come a long way since 2001, when we first had the idea to hold environmental protection ministry meetings between our countries. Obviously, an understanding of shared priorities and key objectives signaled the need for more systematic partnership,» Dmitry Kobylkin said. The Russian minister recalled that during the SCO Council Head of State Meeting in 2018, the Concept for SCO Member States Cooperation in Environmental Protection, which has become a core document, was approved, and during the Bishkek summit in 2019, the SCO Heads of State adopted an Action Plan for 2019-2021.
The Bishkek Declaration emphasized the importance of preserving environmental balance in SCO countries and of restoring biodiversity for future generations, of ensuring favorable conditions for the wellbeing of the people, and for sustainable development within the territories.
«In 2001, Russia proposed the creation of a mechanism for SCO Member State Environmental Protection Ministry and Agency Head Meetings, and we are grateful for your support and participation,» the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation emphasized.
«Ecological and environmental protection is a priority for the leading SCO industrial powers,» Special Representative of the President of the Russian Federation on SCO Bakhtiyor Khakimov said. «SCO countries represent more than 20% of world GDP, and in many respects the success of this global task depends on our joint actions.»
Representatives of India, Kazakhstan, China, heads of authorized agencies and departments of Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, as well as the SCO Secretariat are expected to make presentations.
An exchange of views on the SCO City Environmental Wellbeing Programme draft, prepared by the Russian side, will take place with the aim of further developing and improving the related regulatory framework. Following the discussion, two important documents are to be adopted: a joint communiqué on cooperation and the SCO City Environmental Wellbeing Programme.
Official website of Russias SCO presidency: https://eng.sco-russia2020.ru