On 16 April the Forum discussions on regional cooperation continued. Within three sessions, the delegates of the Forum have reviewed the state of play and the future of cooperation between the European Union and Central Asia, environment investment projects, and challenges lying ahead.
The second day of the Forum was opened by the Mayor of Jūrmala, Gatis Truksnis, who emphasized that Jūrmala has not been chosen unintentionally as a venue for the Green Bridge Forum 2015. Various cleantech projects have already been implemented in this city for a number of years.” We support environmental projects, water resource management, energy efficiency, renewable energy projects, and we are also ready to contribute to developing business opportunities between the EU and Central Asian countries.”
Peter Burian gave his very first speech in his capacity as the newly appointed Special Representative of the European Union to Central Asia. The Special Representative pointed out that Latvia and the Baltic States, on the whole, are success stories when it comes to implementation of cleantech projects and that therefore they can share valuable experiences with the Central Asian countries. He expressed his hopes that, during the forum, he will be able to gather many ideas useful ideas that can be put into practice.
The first session of the Forum was devoted to the status and future of the European Union and Central Asian cooperation within the framework of environmental issues, and water management in particular. Presentations were given by representatives from Kirgizstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Italy, and Romania. At the second session, European officials exchanged opinions on environmental investment projects. Finally, the third session, brought together participants from policy-making and research institutions, and addressed challenges to environment-related regional cooperation.
High-level government officials and business people both from Central Asia and the European Union who are interested in cleantech projects have come to the Green Bridge Forum 2015. Andrejs Pumpurs, the Head of the Green Bridge Forum, described the plans to organize the Forum annually, creating a dependable platform for cooperation between Central Asia and the European Union. He said that implementation of this project requires investment, knowledge and technologies, and these should be linked together, providing an opportunity for people to meet, discuss future perspectives, and leading to successful and productive cooperation in the longer term.
Green Bridge Forum 2015 was opened on 15 April by the General Director of the DG Environment of the European Commission, Carl Falkenberg; the Minister of Environmental Protection and Regional Development of Latvia, Kaspars Gerhards; and the State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Latvia, Andrejs Pildegovičs. The opening session was attended by high-level politicians and government officials from Kazkhstan, Kirgizstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. The opening session of the Forum was moderated by Andris Piebalgs, a former EU Commissioner for Energy and Development Cooperation.
The objective of the Green Bridge Forum 2015 is the strengthening of cooperation between the EU and Central Asian countries within the field of environmental technologies. During the four days of the Forum, the highest-ranking officials, politicians, leading innovators, ministers of environment, industrial experts and business people will discuss the importance of the green technologies in their countries and regions. One of the priorities of the Forum is the promotion of environmental governance.
The Forum is organized from 15 April through to 18 April during the Latvian Presidency of the Council of the European Union by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development, the European Commission, Jūrmala City Council and “Green Bridge Forum”. The event is supported by “Aqua Seen”, “CLEANTECH LATVIA” and its partners, the Cluster of Industrial Energy Efficiency, “Dilers”, the Institute for Environmental Solutions, the Association of Sustainable Usage of Nature Resources KAPUR (Kazakhstan), “Karme Filtrs”, “Lattelecom”, “Vega 1”, and “LADEC” (Finland).
All photos from the Green Bridge Forum 2015 are available here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/129428748@N06/