Prague, Czech Republic – National experts from the countries of Central Asia (CA) visited the Czech Republic for a week-long study tour on “Integrated environmental permitting and introduction of Best Available Techniques (BAT)”. 

The study tour was organised by the European Union (EU) funded project “European Union – Central Asia Water, Environment and Climate Change Cooperation (WECOOP)” with the aim to share experience of the EU and Czechia on the whole process of integrated environmental permitting, implementation of BAT, practical operation of BAT compliant installations, results of development of BAT in energy sector, and research and development of new advanced technologies and alternative energy sources.

The Czech Republic is a highly industrialised country. In 1980s, the air quality in the country was among the worst in Europe. The energy sector was dominated by the coal power plants, and there was no technology that would reduce emissions. In 1991, the Government adopted the new Law on protection of air quality. Strict emission limit values and charges for air pollution were introduced. The state company CEZ, the owner of all power plants, started their active modernization. Thus, when comparing the limits of 1990 and 2015, the emissions of major pollutants dropped drastically – in some cases, such as dust and sulphur dioxide (SO2), by 90 %, and  nitrogen oxides (NOx) – by 50 %.

Addressing the participants, Mr Vladimir A. Mana, Deputy Minister for Environment of the Czech Republic, stated: “It is an honour for us to welcome the colleagues from Central Asia to the Czech Republic and to exchange knowledge and expertise on matters of environmental governance and introduction of green technologies. This visit is particularly important for us in light of the Czech presidency of the Council of the European Union. One of our priorities under the presidency is to promote global cooperation on climate, environment and renewable energy. We strictly adhere to the EU commitments undertaken in line with the European Green Deal and the EU Strategy on Central Asian – to support sustainable growth of the Central Asian countries. I am sure the planned visits and discussions would be fruitful and stimulating for all participating experts – both host and guest”.

During the study tour, the participants visited the Ministry of Environment of the Czech Republic, the Office of the Central Bohemian Region (which is the competent authority for integrated environmental permitting in the region), the Charles University Environment Centre, CEZ power plant in Tušimice, the Institute of Chemical Process Fundamentals of the Czech Academy of Sciences, and the Technology Agency of the Czech Republic. 

Background: The EU-funded project “European Union – Central Asia Water, Environment and Climate Change Cooperation” (WECOOP) (third phase from October 2019 to April 2023) aims to enhance environment, climate change and water policies at national levels in Central Asia through approximation to EU standards and to promote investments in relevant sectors with the aim of contributing to measurable reductions in man-made pollution, including CO2 emission. The project activities include support to the EU–CA Platform for Environment and Water Cooperation and its Working Group on Environment and Climate Change, as well as implementation of the EU Green Deal’s international dimension in Central Asia to advance climate action.

For additional information, please contact Mrs Yelena Serebrennikova, Senior Communication Expert, WECOOP, e-mail:, mobile/WhatsApp +77019814020, Mrs Nurgul Smagulova-Dulic, Event and Communication Officer, WECOOP, e-mail:, mobile: +420 774 574 679, WhatsApp: +77012066760, or EU Delegation to Kazakhstan: