The new Environmental Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan (No 400-VI ЗРК) was adopted on 2 January 2021 to replace the 2007 Environmental Code. Following the recommendations by the OECD, Kazakhstan introduced considerable changes in the 2021 Code, when compared with the 2007 Code. Several new provisions were inspired by the European Union (EU) environmental legislation. The 2021 Environmental Code will enter into force on 1 July 2021.

The 2021 Environmental Code covers most items included in the EU environmental acquis, as well as some additional issues (protection of forests, protection of soils, environmental education and awareness raising, research and development, management of radioactive waste, specific environmental requirement for certain activities) and country specific issues (Protected area in the northern part of the Caspian Sea).

“The 2021 Environmental Code is very complex and elaborated in sufficient detail. Its level of compliance with the EU environmental acquis and other internationally recognised approaches can be considered high”, concluded the experts of the Project “European Union – Central Asia: Water, Environment and Climate Change Cooperation” (WECOOP) after careful review of the document.

To make the 2021 Environmental Code available for a wider English-speaking audience and interested parties, the WECOOP Project has made its unofficial translation into English with the financial support of the EU. The unofficial translation is available here.