NUR-SULTAN – Representatives of Delegations of the European Union (EU) in Central Asia (CA) and journalists participating in the EU contest on “Climate Change: The Planet’s Future is in Our Hands”, gathered for an online Award Ceremony to recognise the participants and announce the winners.

While the world is now responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change remains to be an urgent issue for global response. Amidst the pandemic, the EU continues strengthening Central Asian countries’ abilities to deal with the impacts of climate change and supporting them in their efforts. 

The contest and the ceremony were organised by the EU-funded project “European Union – Central Asia Water, Environment and Climate Change Cooperation” (WECOOP) with a purpose to continue fostering dialogue and cooperation on climate change as well as raising awareness about environment and climate change issues.

Addressing the journalists, Chargé d’Affaires a.i. of the EU Delegation to Kazakhstan Mr Johannes Stenbaek Madsen noted: “Climate change requires concerted actions of the entire society. Mass media plays an indispensable role in raising awareness, shaping attitudes and influencing action. Journalists encourage people to make small changes to their daily behaviour and do their bit to make cities greener and switch to environmentally friendly technologies to better tackle environment and climate change challenges.  The current pandemic has shown that we have a common interest in joining our efforts to create a healthy, more resilient and sustainable future for our Planet and ourselves. We encourage you to continue your valuable research and report on climate and environment issues for our common sustainable future.”

The Contest Committee comprising of representatives of the EU Delegations in Central Asia, as well as the WECOOP project team evaluated the submitted journalistic materials based on the following criteria: 1) compliance with the theme; 2) understanding and in-depth elucidation of the subject; 3) accuracy and reliability of information; 4) professional level of presenting the material, style and beauty of the language; 5) compliance with ethical principles of journalism. 

In total, 44 journalists took part in the contest and submitted 110 materials, of which 15 were selected for the final round of evaluation. As a result, three winners were announced: Mr Almas Mussabekov from Atameken Business Channel (Kazakhstan) with the material titled “The global economy to lose $10 bln annually, if the world average temperature increases by 2 degrees”; Mr Zhanat Tukpiyev from Kazpravda Newspaper (Kazakhstan) with the material titled “Plastic bag? – No, thank you: Life without plastic, or How we are destroying the planet”; and Mr Ermek Aktanov from Birinchi Public Radio (Kyrgyzstan) with the material titled “Glaciers and climate”. The winners will participate in the study tour to the Czech Republic to study the best available techniques to be organised by the WECOOP project, preliminary in autumn 2020. All journalists were awarded with certificates of appreciation.

Background: The EU-funded project “European Union – Central Asia Water, Environment and Climate Change Cooperation” (WECOOP) (third phase from October 2019 to October 2022) 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 (the “Platform”) and its Working Group on Environment and Climate Change (WGECC), as well as implementation of the EU Green Deal’s international dimension in Central Asia to advance climate action.

The Platform was established at the EU–CA High Level Conference in Rome (Italy) in 2009 as a framework for the implementation of the EU–CA Cooperation in water and environment, based on the EU Strategy on Central Asia agreed with the CA countries. The priorities for the Platform were first agreed at the third EU–Central Asia High-Level Conference in Rome in 2009 and subsequently confirmed at the High-Level Conferences in Bishkek (2013), Milan (2015) and Tashkent (2019). The WGECC, chaired by the European Commission and the Italian Ministry of Environment, Land and Sea (IMELS), assists in the identification of regional cooperation priority actions and supports the Platform by strengthening policy dialogue and cooperation within the region as well as between the EU and CA. 

For additional information, please contact

Mrs Yelena Serebrennikova
WECOOP Senior Communication Expert
mobile/WhatsApp +77019814020

Ms Nurgul Smagulova
WECOOP Event and Communication Officer
mobile/WhatsApp +77012066760

Yerkezhan Amriyeva
Political, Press and Information Section
EU Delegation to Kazakhstan