Green Economy Woman Leader in Kazakhstan
About how women helped put the 9th largest country on the green economy path
Today, Saltanat Rakhimbekova is a recognised public leader in the field of green economy in Kazakstan. Jointly with her like-minders, she managed to create and develop a social movement to support this branch, change public opinion, conquer the trust of media, business institutions, parliamentarians, young people, and civil society as a whole.
Saltanat Rakhimbekova - PhD in Economy, member of the Council on the Transition to Green Economy under the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Chairperson of the Ecology Commission of the Public Council under the Ministry of Energy, founder and head of the so-called green public organisations
‘Coalition for a Green Economy and Development G-Global’ non-governmental organisation and ‘Expo&Women’ women international organisation founded by Ms. Rakhimbekova in 2013 and in 2015 became the core of Kazakhstan’s so-called green movements.
The Coalition initiated and now implements 25 long-term green social projects. This allowed it to become one of the leading organisations and a specific social provider in the road map for Kazakhstan's transition to a green economy.
‘Arnasay – the First Green Village of Kazakhstan’ became one of the main projects of the Coalition. It included the establishment of the center of green technologies called ‘Arnasay’, a village school with a new model of environmental education, G-Global park, guest houses for ecotourists, camp for young people, Organic centre, a biogas installation for utilization of animal residues, etc. Ecofriendly products made by residents of Arnasay are now being regularly supplied to Astana.
For the first time in the country, a solar biovegetary and an underground phyto-diode greenhouse used for ecofriendly agriculture were constructed.
At the Arsanay centre, specialists chose and selected 35 green technologies including those designed to develop rural territories. Some of the technologies have massively been expanding throughout the country.
The centre is free to visit. It is a real ecological Mecca for journalists alongside with innovators, businesspersons, international organisations, deputies, and representatives of state institutions.
The centre has become a specific demonstration zone of a green economy. “Thanks to our support, similar centres open 24 hours per day and providing complete immersion in the ecological lifestyle have already been established in six regions of Kazakhstan”, said Saltanat Rakhimbekova.
A green economy was a new and poorly understandable branch to Kazakhstan, a country with resource-based economy. Many people were skeptical about the prospects of Ms. Rakhimbekova’s acrivities when she started working in this field. Globally, this branch has started being comprehensively developed not so long ago.
Saltanat Rakhimbekova’s main motivation was to help her country become one of the green stated.
“Kazakhstan is the 9th largest country in the world. It takes the 5th place in terms of natural resources and 3rd place in terms of areas suitable for agriculture. Ecology is extremely important for Kazakhstan. If we act properly, we can turn the country into a real oasis and feed half of the world with ecofriendly agricultural products”, she says.
Kazakhstan has a tremendous potential in renewable energies, energy efficiency, and resource saving.
According to Saltanat Rakhimbekova, it was President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev who inspired her to start working on a green economy as a new model of social development.
Ms. Rakhimbekova describes him as a strong and successful reformer, social innovation, and one of the most enterprising political leaders in the world. His initiatives and merits include closure of the Semipalatinsk Test Site, holding of the Astana Economic Forum, the Global Energy and Ecological Strategy, the Green Bridge Partnership Programme, the World Anti-Crisis Plan, the first subregional EXPO 2017 Future Energy exhibition, and International Green Technologies & Investments Centre.
Saltanat Rakhimbekova became a volunteer on implementation of sustainable development initiatives of the President of Kazakhstan.
Today her profession is exclusive and irreplaceable. “I managed and manage much more than was expected to. I am happy that I chose this path. I am proud of our team and achievements”, she comments.
In 2018, Ms. Rakhimbekova published her book titled ‘Green Road: EXPO-2017 and Green Economy’. In the book, she wrote about the contribution of people to these life-changing initiatives and about the existing problems alongside with future prospects. She also shared successful practices.
Saltanat Rakhimbekova has extensive leadership experience in civil service and business. She managed to involve representatives of state institutions, business, and science alongside with young people and women in the implementation of a number of projects and initiatives and demonstrated in practice the opportunities of green technologies.
Organisation of mass distribution of the best green technologies, especially Kazakh ones, was another challenging task she set and fulfilled.
For example, Alersand Petrov’s jetstream furnaces are now widely used in rural schools. They save 40% of fuel and reduce heating costs and harmful emissions.
Kazakhstan is located in the heart of Eurasia, in the core of the new Silk Road. It is one of the leaders in post-Soviet economy and Eurasian cooperation situated between two rapidly growing countries: Russia and China. Ms. Rakhimbekova dreams of Kazakhstan becoming a Green Bridge of Eurasia and entering top-10 counties in terms of export of green energy and organic products.
Anna Repina, news agency of the Eurasian Women’s Community
Translated by Nikolay Gavrilov