The following is a press release from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs:
On 10 April, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Latvia hosted a press conference on a high level forum entitled “Building the Bridge to Clean Technologies between European and Central Asian countries”, or Green Bridge Forum 2015. This will be one of the major events in the environmental sector during the Latvian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, and it is devoted to strengthening cooperation in the area of environmental technologies and sharing solutions between the European Union and the Central Asian countries – Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.
The main objective of the Green Bridge Forum is to improve environmental governance and enhance cooperation between the EU and the Central Asian countries, thereby promoting environment-friendly growth due to recent developments in the field of clean technologies with a unique approach to and knowledge about solutions to environmental problems. This rapid development is closely connected with the EU and national level policies. Meanwhile, awareness is increasing among Central Asian governments, the business sector and society of the potential of clean technologies and their significance in the development of green economy. Besides, successful cooperation between the public and private sectors makes it possible to implement excellent projects and increase exports in specific sectors.
The Green Bridge Forum will address the issues of environment, water management, energy efficiency and renewable energy, as well as the development of business opportunities between the EU and the Central Asian countries.
The Green Bridge Forum takes place in Jūrmala at the Baltic Beach Hotel from 15 to 18 April. The EU Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Commissioner, Karmenu Vella; the responsible ministers from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, as well as directors of the EU environmental institutions have confirmed their participation. The forum intends to bring together approximately 250 participants, among them more than 70 delegates from Central Asia. The first three days will be dedicated to discussions on environmental cooperation projects and presentations of clean technologies, whereas on the final day of the event, the participants with have an opportunity for visiting the sites of clean technology projects implemented in Latvia.
Igors Apokins, Ambassador-at-Large at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs stressed: “Environmental protection and sustainable development of environmental technologies in the Central Asian region has not only political and economic, but also humanitarian significance. It is important that EU and Central Asian business people are showing keen interest; therefore, hopefully, the forum will present a platform for building contacts and conceiving projects.”
Alda Ozola, Deputy State Secretary of the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development (MEPRD) emphasised: “An active debate is currently underway at the international level on the post-2015 global sustainable development goals to be concluded at the UN Sustainable Development Forum in September. Therefore, Latvia’s experience with the use of environmentally friendly technologies in the areas of water and waste management and energy efficiency can provide tangible support for Central Asian countries on their path to sustainable development. At the forum, the Ministry intends to sign a working programme with Uzbekistan on cooperation in environmental management.”
Andrejs Pumpurs, the head of the consortium of environmental organizations, Green Bridge Forum, thanked the MFA and the MEPRD for their help in organizing the forum. “Building cooperation among so many countries and political support was one of the prerequisites enabling Latvian and European businesses to explore export opportunities in Central Asia. We are truly happy about the large numbers of Central Asian participants at the event. We do hope that due to contacts forged during the forum, the ideas and projects will come to life in the future,” Pumpurs said.
Green Bridge Forum 2015 takes place during the Latvian Presidency of the Council of the European Union and is organised by the MFA, the MEPRD, the Jūrmala City Council, and Green Bridge Forum. The event is also supported by “Aqua Seen”, “CLEANTECH LATVIA” and its partners, the Cluster of Industrial Energy Efficiency, the Institute for Environment Solutions, the Association for Sustainable Use of Natural Resources – KAPUR (Kazakhstan), companies “Dilers”, “Karme Filtrs”, “Lattelecom”, “Vega 1”, and “LADEC” (Finland).
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