New York, USA - The Government of Russia and UNDP signed today two Memoranda of Understanding (MoU), laying ground for increased cooperation in Europe and Central Asia.
With a contribution of $4 million, the project “Addressing Marine Litter and Marine Plastics – A Systemic Approach in the Caspian Sea” aims to improve the management of land-based sources of pollution that are likely to affect the marine environment of the Caspian Sea. The project will have both regional and national activities in Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan. It will support the amendment of regulatory frameworks on waste management, the promotion of a circular economy, investments in waste management as well as raising awareness and strengthening sustainable consumption and productions patterns in order to change consumers’ behaviors.
The objective of the second MoU, with a $3 million contribution from Russia, is to scale-up the UNDP Climate Box initiative at the global level across four regions - Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, and Latin America – while supporting cross-country exchanges. Launched in 2017, the Climate Change Box’s integrated curriculum is designed to teach children aged seven to 16 to lead climate-friendly lifestyles. It was initially developed by Russian experts and later adapted in other countries. To date, it has reached over 60,000 students in Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. The project will also expand the curriculum with digital tools.
In addition to these 2 regional initiatives, Russia is also funding two new projects in Uzbekistan and in Belarus, bringing its December contribution to $14.1 million and its overall support to UNDP’s non-core budget to $151.5 million to date.
In Uzbekistan, $5 million will go to support local communities’ livelihoods and development in the Aral Sea region. The project aims to increase the productive capacity of the agricultural sector and ensure the resilience of local farmers to climate change. It also helps build their capacity to export local products internationally, improve social infrastructure and ensure rural communities' access to basic social services.
In Belarus, Russia’s funding of $3.5 million (including contribution to UNDP of $2.1 million) will help enhance efforts to nationalize and localize the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). A joint initiative by UNDP, UNICEF, UNFPA, and WHO, the project aims to develop the capacity of the National institutional mechanism for achieving the SDGs, integrate them in the system of national and regional planning and develop monitoring at the national and local levels. The SDG Accelerators will be a cross-cutting instrument present in all components of the project.
All four projects are due to start early 2022.