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The European Union has launched the SWITCH-Asia Programme in 2007 to support Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) and the transition to green economy in Asia. The programme has been extended to Central Asia in 2019.
On Friday, 5 July 2019, EU SWITCH-Asia was launched in Kyrgyzstan, Bishkek, at the Orion Hotel, were introduced the programme in Central Asia, discussed challenges and opportunities related to SCP and defined its work plan for Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan for the next years.
The event was co-organized by the SWITCH-Asia SCP Facility, the European Commission, Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development (DG DEVCO), and concerned European Union Delegations. Representatives of national governments, EU Delegations, United Nations agencies, and key stakeholders (business, academia, NGOs, MSMEs, among others) were contributed to the interactive discussions on the importance and necessity for promoting SCP patterns in Central Asia, in order to support the five targeted countries’ transition towards a low-carbon, resource-efficient and circular economy.
The launch event was taking place back-to-back with the EU-Central Asia Forum and Ministerial Meeting (6-7 July), where the new EU-Central Asia Strategy was presented. This Strategy includes a specific point on cooperation in the field of the environment, water and the implementation of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, among others.
The urgent need to change from unsustainable consumption and production patterns to a green economy and sustainable development was increasingly being recognized. This shift requires adequate policies, implementation mechanisms with appropriate enabling capacity, awareness raising and education, together with innovation and responsibility.