dws-ienm-kazakhstan-schultz-kapparov-770pxDutch minister of Infrastructure and Environment Melanie Schultz van Haegen (left) and Kazakh minister of Environment and Water Resources Nurlan Kapparov (right) signed an agreement on cooperation between the two countries in the fields of water, energy and green economy .

The cooperation agreement was signed for five years and is to stimulate mutual exchange of knowledge and business.

The signing took place in the Hague, the Netherlands on 24 March.

dws-ienm-dutch-kazahn-agreement-river-map-350px  Kazakhstan has many transboundary rivers flowing in and out of the country.

Green partnership
Minister Melanie Schultz van Haegen: "Kazakhstan is an important emerging economy and has opted for sustainable development. The Netherlands has a lot to offer in the field of water and green economy. Our knowledge about water and waste management are among the best in the world. I hope that this agreement gives our green partnership a boost ".

Practical results
Schultz wants to strengthen the friendly ties with Kazakhstan. It is mainly for practical results in the fields of environment and water management: protection of water against pollution, new water purification, energy efficiency, recycling, climate change and biodiversity conservation .

dws-ienm-kazakhstan-northern-aral-sea-ship-350pxIrrigation projects made the Aral Sea to shrink steadily since the 1960s. By 2007 only 10% of its original size remained, splitting into four lakes. Kazakhstan built a dam to save the Northern part.

All water problems solved in 2050
Last year minister Kapparov warned for an increasing shortage of water. Both in Kazakhstan and the bordering states the water demand is expected to rise, leaving less water in the lower river basins.

Kapparov launched a national water resources management programme to reduce the expected water shortages by modernizing infrastructure and improve water conservation in industry, agriculture, housing and utilities sector.

The programme envisions a stable water supply to the population by 2020 and agriculture by 2030.

All water problems should be solved by 2050.

Minister Schultz will visit Kazakhstan in November, heading a trade mission.

This news item is based on a press release that was published on the website of the Dutch ministry of Infrastructure and environment (in Dutch only).

More information
Ministry of Infrastructure and environment
The Hague, the Netherlands
+31 70 456 00 00