In February 2021, we collaborated with Climate Action Network to publish “People’s voices in National Climate Plans” - a study on the contribution of civil society organizations (CSOs) to the implementation of the Paris Agreement in Kenya, the Kyrgyz Republic, Morocco and the Philippines. Understanding the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) being a key instrument in fulfilling the goals of the Paris Agreement, the study explores the accessibility of the development and implementation processes for CSOs of these countries. Although it is clear that the general public in Kyrgyzstan is not yet a “partner and active actor”, but rather a “passive recipient of services”, the paper emphasizes the great opportunities for inclusive mechanisms that would aid a broader participation of CSOs in climate-friendly development of the country. Therefore, the study may be read as an encouragement to the government and CSOs to engage in closer and more effective cooperation in climate policy-making.
People’s Voices in NDCs: A More Inclusive Promise?
As part of this project, we also organized a discussion panel titled “People’s Voices in NDCs: A More Inclusive Promise?” with climate experts. These experts discussed the relevance of the study and the challenges of involving the public in the development of NDC documents.
In February 2022, we organized the Shaarkana forum on the subject of air pollution in Bishkek, bringing together civil society actors and government officials. At Shaarkana, our partners from the Public Association “MoveGreen”, the “Peshcom” initiative, and the “Urban Hub '' community, presented a study on motor vehicle pollution. According to the study, the number of vehicles has a direct impact on the level of air pollution in Bishkek, with the largest share of exhaust gasses being caused by car traffic. Among these gasses are nitrogen oxides, which are especially dangerous to human respiratory tracts and contribute to the ever-increasing number of corresponding diseases in Bishkek. It should be noted that representatives of the City Administration, the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Transport and Communication as well as a Member of Jogorku Kenesh all took an active part in our panel discussions, contributing their ideas on how to improve the situation. As a result, the findings of the study were also presented and discussed in the Jogorku Kenesh by the participants of our event.
Inspired by the great work of the FES office in Kenya, we are looking forward to developing the “Just City” concept with our partners as a vision for a better Bishkek. Through the development of such a concept we want to explore what the principles of democracy, solidarity, accessibility, equity & diversity and sustainability can contribute towards a “Just” Bishkek. Kyrgyz cities still face major challenges, including the establishment of sustainable water and waste management systems, fair and solidarity-based distribution in the housing sector, and a safe and accessible transportation system. It is the often-invisible inhabitant of the city, mostly forgotten in the rather economically driven approaches to city planning, that we want to highlight. Therefore, we welcome the opportunities new technologies can bring to city development. However, a “Smart City” approach - as has been discussed in recent years - should first and foremost serve the interests of the inhabitants in creating an inclusive, and solidary city, and not lead to the misuse of the inhabitants’ data, which does not serve a democratic, just city, but rather an authoritarian one.
Bishkek Mobility Lab
In line with this work, FES Kyrgyzstan, together with SPCE Hub, is launching a pilot project titled “Bishkek Mobility Lab”. Adapting the Urban Living Labs approach, the project brings together actors from various relevant institutions in Bishkek, including policy-makers, activists, and academics. The project aims to create discussions on the topics related to sustainable solutions to urban challenges in Bishkek. A goal-oriented city intervention and a report will be developed by the end of this project with the intervention methodology and the final report to be developed by the participants together with the Living Lab experts from Germany.
These projects are developed and coordinated by Daria Gavrushchenko, our “Just City” Expert.
The Friedrich Ebert Foundation presented policy recommendations on informal employment in the country. More