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News: April 2007

PUBLICATION “ENVIRONMENTAL INDICATORS FOR UZBEKISTAN” PRESENTS ANALYSIS OF INTERNATIONAL AND NATIONAL PRACTICE ON DEVELOPING OF A SET OF ENVIRONMENTAL INDICATORS

Effective management of natural resources, development and undertaking of environmental activities require impartial information which can help decision makers to carry out the policy of sustainable development.

Information on the state of environment, impact of different factors and use of natural resources in Uzbekistan is formed based upon the results of state monitoring carried out by several ministries and agencies.

However, practice shows that not all of obtained information is used in solution of concrete problems. Therefore the need arose for choosing from among the big number of parameters under control the most urgent and informative indicators which will improve understanding of environmental problems by decision-makers and the public. However these indicatos must reflect national environmental priorities; comply with the international environmental policy; have continuous series of monitoring; contain truthful information and predict efficiency of undertaken measures.

This set of environmental indicators was developed within framework of joint project of the Republic of Uzbekistan and UNDP in Uzbekistan “Environmental Indicators to Monitor the State of the Environment in Uzbekistan”.

Collection of articles “Environmental Indicators for Uzbekistan” present results of joint activity of a team of experts from the State Committee on Nature, Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources, Minsitry of Health, State Committee on Geology, Uzgidromet, as well as an international advisor on selection of environmental indicators and developing of main principles in applying them in the state of the environment monitoring process.

It contains analysis of the problem which the project executors encountered during its implementation, as well as the ways of their solution; analysis of international experience on selection of criteria for environmental indicators and development of a set of indicators; justification of a choice and description of environmental indicators on each component of environment and main results obtained in executing of the project.

Authors – H.S. Sherimbetov and L.A. Axenova suppose that this Collection will be useful for specialists in environment, nature resources management and use area, teachers, scientists, as well as for readers from different walks of life interested with environment problems.

Source: CARNet Press Service, 18.04.2007

CABINET OF MINISTERS OF UZBEKISTAN CONSIDERS 1Q DEVELOPMENT RESULTS

The Cabinet of Ministers of Uzbekistan held a session on 17 April to consider the results of the country’s socioeconomic development in the first quarter of the year. Prime Minister Shavkat Mirziyoyev chaired the session.

Uzbekistan’s GDP increased by 9.1% in the first three months of 2007, it was said at the session. Industrial production grew by 12%, agricultural production by 5.5%, construction sector by 12.8%, retail turnover by 16.5% and paid services by 25%.

State budget surplus made up 1.7% in the first quarter, while inflation comprised 2.9%, which was within the forecast.

Foreign trade was growing at high pace, with exports increasing by 21.1%.Positive foreign trade balance made up about USD 600 million.

The volume of used foreign investments increased by 36.4%, and foreign direct investments grew by 47%.

43 large infrastructure and industrial objects were commissioned in the reporting period, including 7 textile enterprises.

Implementation of large projects co-financed by Uzbekistan’s Reconstruction and Development Fund, as well as the first project using the Clean Development Mechanism of the Kyoto Protocol at two mineral fertilizer plants has started.

Production in small and medium business sector also showed high growth, leading to increase of the SME share in GDP to 33.2%.

The share of the service sector in GDP reached 43.5%.

About 150,000 new workplaces were created in the first quarter.

Almost 14,000 low-income and large families were provided with cattle worth UZS 5.5 billion.

The Employment Support Fund issued microcredits worth UZS 2.9 billion to 3,400 low-income families. 1,500 workplaces for the disabled were created, of which 1,160 received employment at home.

26,000 citizens living alone and 121,000 low-income families received material support from sponsors.

Source: UzA, 18.04.2007

REFORMING AND DEVELOPING PROSPECTS OF UZBEKISTAN’S ENERGY SECTOR PRESENTED IN AN ANALYTICAL NOTE OF THE UNDP

UNDP in Uzbekistan periodically publishes Analytical Notes, which represent brief and focused analytical materials on socio-economic development priority issues, includes a set of political recommendations and descriptions of strategic and tactical steps.

The analytical note “Possibilities for Further Reforms in Energy Sector of Uzbekistan” p0resents the information on global and regional situation in energy area. It also widely covers resources of primary energy (natural gas, oil and gas condensate, renewable energy sources), power energy, situation in heating and hot water supply system, efficiency in energy use, policy and management in energy sector, proposals and recommendations to develop energy sector.

Energy sector is a key economic sector of Uzbekistan. It is the largest exporter bringing significant profits and helping finance socially important projects. Energy also provides functioning of almost all other sectors impacting economic development capacity in general.

Sustainable energy supply is a pre- condition of sustainable economic growth and socio-economic development. In this context the energy sector should be considered as an instrument of industrial policy called to satisfy the increasing economic needs on affordable prices and support development of non-energy sectors. This is especially important because of limited stocks of hydrocarbons.

Tentative economic growth will unavoidably entail increase of demand for energy resources which can lead to deficit of energy. In this connection a number of high priority reforms are needed in the institutional arrangement of sector and internal price mechanisms for energy resources. Equally important is modernization of energy sector, replacement of outdated energy systems, introduction of new capacities and improvement of management approaches.

In relation with this development of a long term policy for stimulating of changes in behavior of energy producers and consumers. A prerequisite for establishment of a stable energy sector is development of sustainable markets of traditional energy bearers and alternative energy sources.

Source: CARNet Press Service, 18.04.2007