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Media Center / News archive / 2017 / EXPO-2017 as a turning moment in ecological awareness

The EXPO-2017 Exhibition hosted in Astana will become a turning moment in consciousness of the Kazakhstani citizens

This opinion was expressed by Lesya Karataeva, the Chief Research Scientists of the President-sponsored Kazakhstani Institute for Strategic Studies (KAZISS) приПрезидентеРКЛесяКаратаева.

According to the expert, Kazakhstan included construction of ‘green’ economy into the list of priority tasks of the country’s strategic development. Thereat, it concerns transformation of the economic paradigm which, in its turn, demands not only economically sound solutions but analysis of empiric data. In this connection, one of the tasks of the EXPO-2017 Specialized Exhibition was giving a new momentum to transition to the ‘green’ development path.

“Over 100 countries and a n umber of international organizations managed to present to the world the results of their efforts in implementation of ‘green’ technologies in national economies. The people who visited the Exhibition could witness diversity of the approaches undertaken by countries with account of individualities of their geographic and climatic conditions. Notwithstanding the adopted practice of winner selection among pavilions, the issue does not concern who moved farther in implementation if the Exhibition idea. The central task of World Exhibitions is creation of space of ideas allowing not only demonstration of the genius of human thought but also search of points of cooperation, interaction and investment,” admits the KAZISS expert.

The expert selected three basic lines in development of ecological thought. She considers ensuring stable rates of long-term economic growth backed by creation of an energy system proactively using renewable energy sources.

The second goal group is ecology. Here, reduction of adverse impact on environment is assumed (reduction of greenhouse gas and other pollutants emission, etc.).

And finally, it is the social orientation that is orientation to creation of new stable jobs, and improvement of habitat and quality of life.

“The EXPO-2017 Exhibition hosted this summer is a good reason to think of our preparedness for full-fledged transition to the ‘railway of green growth’,” thinks the expert.

At the same time, she pointed to the danger of passive expectation in solution of environmental problems.

“I venture to suggest that ecological thinking will occupy the highest line in the list of ‘scarce commodities’. Maybe, the case is that the word ‘railway’ puts to the eyes a picture of a train speeding ahead with people sitting inside the cars. A bright ecologically clean future is awaiting them at the destination point, where they will not have to wear respirators for protection from adverse emissions, where domestic waste automatically sorts itself and self-utilizing turns into various beautiful and useful things, where the major part of consumed energy is generated by RES, and a cellophane package is demonstrated to schoolchildren during museum visiting. But the people in the train do not will to apply any efforts, they just sit and wait for the train to bring them there,” thinks Lesya Karataeva.

The expert pointed to the catalytic role of the Exhibition in the process of awakening of the population’s civic engagement.

“Nevertheless, certain efforts in environmental awareness in the country are applied. The network of nature preservation organizations and volunteer chains aimed at ecological practices. In April this year, under preparation for EXPO-2017, the US Embassy in Kazakhstan launched the environmental challenge #20daysofgreen coinciding it with the Day of Earth. In the USA, the flash-mob proposed by American diplomats is a common practice. It would be great if Kazakhstani schools, vocational schools and higher education institutions implement this mechanism into their moral building activities. It is obvious that the effect of such kind of world understanding would be manifold as efficient as all the environmental lectures together,” thinks the KAZISS expert.

In the opinion of Lesya Karataeva, hosting of EXPO-2017 became a mighty momentum for understanding of environmental problems of the country. This mechanism is already started and now all depends on which vector will civic initiatives follow.

“Of course, we should not be alarmism-stricken; we have already learned to ‘turn off lights when leaving’. But admit, is there anyone ready to exchange his 6.6 liter and 717 ‘horses’ jeep for an econobox only because it is more ecological? Nevertheless, IdarehopethataftervisitingtheExhibition, thenumberofthosewhostarted at least thinking about it grew,’ thinks Lesya Karataeva.

 


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