Yessil River cleaned as part of the EU environmental campaigns

620 kg of garbage have been collected on the banks of the Yessil River in Nur-Sultan as a result of the cleanup event organized by the EU Delegation to Kazakhstan, the Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands in Kazakhstan and the Embassy of Estonia in Kazakhstan with the support of Akimat of Nur-Sultan city.

Around 70 people took part in this environmental initiative. Among them were representatives of the EU embassies, international organizations, eco-volunteers, journalists and concerned citizens of the capital of Kazakhstan. The garbage, consisting mainly from glass and plastic waste, was collected by the Clean City company for further recycling.

Ambassador of the European Union to Kazakhstan Kestutis Jankauskas: “The EU is spearheading global efforts to reduce and avoid plastic pollution, including marine litter. Today, as part of the #EUBeachCleanup campaign, we made a small, but important contribution to the cleaning up of Yessil River in Nur-Sultan. The aim of the campaign is to raise awareness about the issue and encourage people to take care of our blue planet. The EU stays committed to support Kazakhstan in its green transition, providing its assistance and expertise through multiple regional projects and programmes”.

Every year in September, the EU organises an ocean-activism and awareness-raising campaign – #EUBeachCleanup – featuring events across the world. It contributes to the achievement of the several Sustainable Development Goals aimed to protect the nature and biodiversity (SDG 12, SDG 14, SDG 15). Preparing for the UN conference on biological diversity in October, this year’s campaign focuses on the theme of marine biodiversity.

It is worth to mention that clean water is especially important in cities, where the world’s population is mostly living. The Kingdom of the Netherlands is calling to pay attention to this issue within the framework of NL Waterway Cleanup campaign. Chargé d’Affaires a.i. of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Nur-Sultan Nout van Woudenberg: “In 2050, cities are predicted to be home to 68% of the world’s population. This makes tackling water and waste issues even more urgent as cities cannot function without healthy water. It is very relevant for the Netherlands, too. With a third of our country below sea level, water has been a big part of the Dutch history and culture. Climate change and rapid urbanization raise the bar even further. Which is why the Netherlands is taking action on World Cleanup Day and organizing NL Waterway Cleanups all over the world. Here in Nur-Sultan we, together with our colleagues, focus on the Yessil river. Let’s make clean water for resilient cities everywhere!”

The cleaning up campaign took place on the eve of another international environmental movement spearheaded by Estonia – the World Cleanup Day. “World Cleanup Day is one of the biggest civic movements of our time, uniting 180 countries across the world for a cleaner planet. On this day volunteers worldwide come together to rid our planet of garbage – cleaning up litter and mismanaged waste from our beaches, rivers, forests, and streets. This world-changing idea began in the small country of Estonia, in 2008, when 50,000 people united to clean up the entire country in just five hours. In 2019, already 21.2 million environment heroes joined in on an epic 36-hour green wave of cleanups across the globe – beginning in New Zealand and traveling around the world before ending in Hawaii”,  Ambassador of Estonia to Kazakhstan Toomas Tirs noted.