Model of environmental governance in Kazakhstan

The article is devoted to the problem of reforming the tax systems of Kazakhstan and Russia in a market economy; the main key steps and the quality of their realizations are described. Of particular relevance is the analysis of the impact of tax regulators on the country's economic growth. In the context of integration into the world economy, it is necessary to find the most appropriate scientific approaches to reforming tax systems by improving the analysis, planning and forecasting the trends of its development, taking into account the influence of various factors. As the analysis of the works of foreign scientists in forecasting the development of complex financial systems in the conditions of a modern market economy shows, it is the methodology of alternative forecast scenarios that reflects the needs of strategic foresight in the context of a complex intertwining of contradictory trends in the development of the world economy. It is generally recognized that in the context of rapid and ambiguous changes, it is no longer possible to use planning methods based solely on extrapolating existing trends in technical, technological, economic and social development. Therefore, it is important to compare the state of tax systems to date and assess their level of competitiveness. Regarding Kazakhstan and Russia, the results of the regression model should be taken into account when carrying out reforms. The model of the tax system is an aggregate indicator, the so-called tax policy, so only a systemic transformation will help to qualitatively influence the economic growth of the country.

Kazakhstan has accumulated a huge amount of environmental, social and ecological problems that prevented the development of the country on a stable basis. The economic growth of the country is mainly due to rising prices for raw materials on world markets and the use of a significant amount of natural resources. At the root of many social and economic problems of the Republic of Kazakhstan is historically an imbalance when the country consumes resources disproportionately in comparison with their production. This suggests that in the Republic of Kazakhstan is relatively low utilization efficiency rate, which is currently equal to 31 percent. This is higher than the average level of 24 percent, but less than in the most technologically advanced countries in the world: Japan - 36 %, USA - 34 %, Germany - 33 %. When utilization efficiency rate of the country is equal to 53 %, there will be access to the path of «sustainable development» and expected economic growth due to more efficient, «breakthrough» technologies [1].

There have been a huge loss and degradation of natural capital. GDP growth is accompanied by high emissions into the environment. It is estimated that about 75 percent of the country is at an increased risk of ecological destabilization. There is an acute problem of desertification. «Historical pollutions», stored wastes, growing toxic emissions are sources of threat for the environment and human health. The potential threat to the stability of the economy is significant commodity dependence, weak level of preparation of some sectors to join the World Trade Organization (WTO), the growth of external debt, the problem of «shadow» economy, and others.

There is a significant gap in the economic and social situation of the regions of Kazakhstan. Challenges remain in the demographics and health status of the population, inadequate levels of legal, economic, and environmental literacy. All these spheres are represented in socio-ecological and economic development of the country and reflected in main strategic documents and Concepts (for example, Concept of Sustainable development).

The first step to the beginning of the development of Kazakhstan National Agenda 21 can be considered in following a memorandum of Kazakhstan Agenda 21 «For the revival and sustainable development of the Motherland», which was adopted in 1995.

In April 1996, the President of Kazakhstan approved the Concept of ecological safety of the Republic of Kazakhstan, in which one of the priorities is to achieve sustainable development through the reduction and elimination of non-viable patterns of production and consumption and promote appropriate demographic policies.

The legal framework for the environmental regulation in the Republic of Kazakhstan is presented below:

  1. The Constitution of the Republic of Kazakhstan;
  2. Codes of the Republic of Kazakhstan (the Environmental Code, the Water Code, the Forest Code, the State Water Cadastre);
  3. Laws and Decrees of the Republic of Kazakhstan (30 laws and decrees);
  4. Resolution of the Republic of Kazakhstan (more than 100 resolutions);
  5. Orders (200).

Despite the availability of advanced standards, applicable environmental legislation needs to be improved, as some of its regulation creates unnecessarily high administrative barriers to entrepreneurship, high potential corruption rate, which is not conducive to the solution of environmental problems.

Today, unfortunately, in the mechanisms of state regulation of environment administrative incentives in environmental behaviour of business entities and other activities are dominated. Market management tools and social impact on the environment have not yet been widely used, and therefore - now legal provision of economic incentives for environmental management is ineffective. Among the existing economic instruments of environmental protection is still dominated by payments for environmental contamination and subsidy schemes. Tax incentives, co-financing, other social initiatives aimed at promoting the dissemination of technologies with lower levels of pollution, environmental business support is implemented very slowly. All this contributes to the preservation of the Kazakhstan statehood ecologically vulnerable territory and unsolved environmental problems.

The Constitution of the Republic of Kazakhstan stipulates that the state aim to protect the environment favourable for the life and health of people. However, it does not always provide it. The current environmental legislation of our country with all its progressive norms has one serious drawback: the restoration of the polluted environment and its improvement and development are not the main objective of the legislation. Law enforcement practice has turned into an instrument of environmental legislation replenishment. Environmental protection and nature events are held formally.

Legal analysis of the national environmental legislation found a discrepancy of its rules as the general legal principles and the principles of the relevant bodies of law: in particular, the so-called «triple» - the responsibility of nature users for exceeding standards and limits, the prosecution about the circumstances that do not have a legal definition, the use of administrative sanctions, which are not covered in the Common part of the Code of Administrative Offences, violation of the constitutional principle of equality before the law. For example, the currently existing opportunity to the 20-fold increase in rates for the issue of local representative bodies leads to the fact that the same act can be treated in the territory of the region as an administrative offense, and on the other - as a criminal offense.

One of the key documents regulating the ecological and economic relations is the concept of «Green economy», adopted in May 2013. Within the framework of the analysis of the existing legislative framework which was carried out by the Commission of Experts, their findings led to rethinking and finalize the regulatory framework in all environmental code. The state is set to the further development of the legislative framework based on the principles of «green» concept. It should be at the legislative level, safely and most effectively providing the launch of incentive mechanisms for enterprises implementing energy-saving and low-waste technologies, in order to reduce the pressure on the resource base, upgrade aging infrastructure companies to diversify their business and to reduce environmental pollution. «Green» course will be based on five pillars: efficient use of resources, a new generation of technology, social benefits, the market price of resources and new ways of thinking and learning.

At this point, you must also make a number of amendments to existing legislation. One of the major concerns of legal amendments is to simplify licensing procedures and eliminate administrative barriers.

In contrast to developed countries, the procedure of state ecological expertise (SEE) and permitting are carried out separately in Kazakhstan. These administrative barriers that complicate the process of obtaining permits, seriously hinders the development of production and introduction of new technologies. To eliminate them it is necessary to introduce the principle of «one window», united in one state environmental review process and the issuance of permits for emissions, which will reduce the time from 4-5 months to 70 days.

It is also proposed to establish «the presumption of the authorization». In practice, permits for emissions into the environment, especially for large users of natural resources are issued after the deadline set by theEnvironmental Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan. These natural resource users become unwitting violators of the law and are responsible for emissions in the absence of an environmental permit.

The new principle will provide the right to start for nature user to carry out environmental emissions under the terms of the application filed by him/her in the case in a timely manner permitting authority which is not granted permission to issues in environment or a written refusal to issue it and the reasons for refusal.

We intend to get rid of natural resources from the so-called «triple» of responsibility. Currently, for the implementation of above-limit and unauthorized emissions they are actually prosecuted three times, namely in the framework of the tax (10-fold rate per issue), administrative (1,000 percent rate per issue) and environmental legislation (compensation using the indirect method of economic evaluation of damage to the multiplying factor of 10).

It is also recommended to exclude increased rate of payment for excessive and unwarranted issuance from the Tax Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan, as they are set for the wrongful acts of a nature. Since the rate is for the legal nature of sanctions, as board - responsibility, and the establishment of the Tax Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan is responsible for violations unrelated to tax obligations, inadmissible. It is proposed to apply the base rate payment to all the actual volume of emissions.

Institute of compensation for damage to the environment is also imperfect. At present, a fact-limit pollution and unauthorized practice identified with causing damage to the environment. It turns out, if you have permission to tens of thousands of tons of pollutants, then you are not a tortfeasor, but if you throw out 10 kilograms of pollutants without a permit, you will be automatically qualified for such treatment.

It is necessary to secure the legislative priorities of compensation for harm to the environment. Another problem stems from the fact that environmental legislation and priority environmental damage compensation in kind is legally unsecured in nature, and therefore they are not implemented in practice. That is, the legislator does not require restoration of damage to nature, but simply exacts money in the budget. Accordingly, in most cases, the damage cannot be restored.

If we turn to foreign law, for example, the law of Canada, Norway – they do not conduct direct connection between the overhangs emissions and environmental damage. Environmental damage in these countries is estimated based on the actual costs of restoration work, the restoration of health damages resulting from the loss of the beneficial properties of the environment or natural resources.

With regard to matters of compensation ecological harm in the world there is a tendency to unify the approaches adopted. In particular, the restoration of the properties, quality, functions of natural resources, ensuring long-term reproductive capacity of ecosystems to reproduce is the main goal of EU environmental legislation. As in Canada, Norway, the United States, the European Union there is a priority to the natural mechanism of compensation for environmental damage. Economic entity is required to bear the costs for the implementation of measures to eliminate prejudice.

Consideration should be given to implement state ecological examination of the right to set conditions of nature, with the exception of the right of the state for environmental expertise review, the establishment of the right of appeal of natural resources of the state environmental expertise, the establishment of an administrative fine for the subjects of big business consistently with the other entities, clear and precise definition and delimitation of the concepts of «limits on emissions» and «emission standards», «environmental dam- age» and other. It is noted that the recovery of material damages, administrative fines and tax payments is not conducive to the development of production and investment. Therefore it is necessary to adjust the existing environmental, administrative and tax legislation. In particular, for environmental emission standards there should be pre-defined tax payments which must be made within the payment rates, that is, without an increase, but the fact of the excess emission must involve the use of the offender to administrative responsibility. It should be noted that the funding mechanism for the state conservation and restoration measures would be effective if imposed fees related to a violation of environmental requirements, used targeted way - you need to create the National Environmental Fund (NEF), which will accumulate these deductions and guide them strictly for priority of republican and regional environmental projects related to the restoration and improvement of environmental quality and environmental safety.

To date, trends in the development of the Republic of Kazakhstan have anti-sustainable character, as evidenced by the statistics of socio-ecological and economic development of Kazakhstan.

Analysis of environmental performance across the regions of Kazakhstan has also revealed a number of features and problems. Among one of the most important is air pollution.

The main sources of air pollution are industrial, transport and household emissions. Until recently, industry has been a major source of air pollution.

Since the bulk of the pollution from stationary sources is carried out by industrial enterprises, it will be useful to examine the current situation on this issue in the regions of Kazakhstan with the most developed industry.

For example, the structure of emissions in different cities of the Karaganda region looks as follows (Table 1).

Table 1

Emissions to the atmosphere from stationary sources in the Karaganda region, in bln. ton







Growth rate, %

Rate of increase, %

Karaganda region






64.68 %

- 35.32 %







110.37 %

10.37 %







23.57 %

- 76.43 %







78.22 %

- 21.78 %







96.30 %

- 3.70%









93.46 %

- 6.54 %







100.00 %







183.33 %

83.33 %







82.76 %

- 17.24 %







156.25 %

56.25 %







126.09 %

26.09 %







88.89 %

- 11.11 %







60.00 %

- 40.00 %







300.00 % ¯

200.00 % ~

Note. Compiled by the authors based on

According to data presented in Table 1, we can conclude that in terms of pollutant emissions the leaders are Temirtau and Balkhash. This is due to the placement of Kazakhstan's largest companies of ferrous and non-ferrous metallurgy, namely, JSC «ArcelorMittal» and JSC «Kazakhmys» in these settlements.

Thus, it can be noted that the regions of the Republic of Kazakhstan differ not only by the criterion of economic development, social sphere development, but also by environmental situation. That is, all three components underlying in the concept of sustainable development are disproportionately developed and have a lot of unsolved problems.

In this regard, the question of public administration in the conditions of instability raises sharply, i.e. the creation of the Kazakhstani model of sustainable development governance.

Based on the analysis, it can be argued that environmental problems accumulated by more than one generation in the foreseeable future will lead to deterioration of the living conditions not only for next generations, but also for current residents, their quality of life; and as a consequence, it can negatively affect the social sphere of the country. Under these conditions, economic development cannot be sustained. This reflects the trinity of economic, environmental and social spheres, which is represented in Figure 1.

Summarizing all the mentioned above, we present the SWOT-analysis of the socio-ecological and economic spheres of the Republic of Kazakhstan, which allows you to identify strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and threats which face the country at the moment (Table 2).

Table 2 SWOT-analysis of the socio-ecological and economic spheres of the Republic of Kazakhstan at the present stage of development

Note. Compiled by the authors.



Food security; Access to water; Education;

Renewable water resources.

Environmental conditions (air quality, water, land); Solid waste and discharges, emissions into the environment;


The energy intensity of production;

Raw-material orientation;

Renewable energy;

Public health;

State debt;

Public administration.



Sustainable development of irrigated agriculture; Waste from extraction and development of clusters; Rational use of resources and the development of renewable energy sources;

Development of human capital.

Environmental degradation (land degradation and impoverishment of landscapes, desertification, reducing soil fertility, reducing the productivity of livestock and crop production, water scarcity, air and water pollution, etc.);

The deterioration of health; The increase in public debt;

Increasing the natural resources used for the production and consumption of the population; Reducing the number of animals and plants.

Thus, for the transition to green economy and the implementation of the principles of sustainable development it is necessary to improve public policy in the field of sustainable development and environmental protection.

Current national environmental policy of Kazakhstan based on the ecosystem approach, is taking into account the territorial division of powers and responsibilities between actors in governance. The object of the control serves the environment in the Republic of Kazakhstan. Man, society and the state as a whole are the subjects of environmental management.

Depending on the form of ownership there can be presented several models of governance in the field of environmental protection: the state monopoly on environmental protection (100 percent participation of the state in matters of environmental protection), a competitive business environment (enterprise, competing among themselves for effective use of resources and acquiring the rights to emission of harmful substances into the environment) and a mixed model of governance, which is a combination of the first two models. Accordingly, the model chosen formed the relationship between central and territorial governments.

In Kazakhstan, there is a mixed model of governance for sustainable development and environmental protection, which is represented by a wide range of subjects of management.

If we consider the existing institutional framework of functioning of organizational-economic mechanism of environmental protection, the previously performed this function the Ministry of Environment and Water Resources of the Republic of Kazakhstan and its territorial divisions.

Today, within the framework of the administrative reform, this ministry was abolished, but its committees and departments included in the Ministry of Energy of Kazakhstan, and continue the same functions as the Ministry of Environment and Water Resources.

The Ministry of Energy of the Republic of Kazakhstan, being the central executive body of the Republic of Kazakhstan, is carrying the formation and implementation of public policies; coordinates the management process in the fields of oil and gas, petrochemical industry, transportation of hydrocarbon raw materials, state regulation of the production of oil, gas and gas, pipeline, power, coal, nuclear energy, environmental protection, environmental management, protection, control and supervision of the management of natural resources, the treatment of municipal solid waste management, renewable energy, monitoring the state policy of «green economy» [2].

The following departments represent subdivisions of the Ministry in charge of environmental protection: the Department of Waste Management, the Department of Climate Change, the Department of Renewable Energy, the Department of «Green» economy, the Department of environmental monitoring and information.

Thus, the Ministry of Energy of the Republic of Kazakhstan has positioned itself as the Ministry for promoting the development of energy sector in order to ensure a high level of competitiveness of national and energy security, the growing needs of the economy for energy, the development of scientific and technological potential, aimed at their efficient use, and creation of conditions for the conservation, restoration and improvement of the environment, ensure the transition to the Republic of Kazakhstan and the development of low-carbon «green economy» to meet the needs of present and future generations.

Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Kazakhstan in the framework of the administrative reform has the Committee on Water Resources, which was previously in the Ministry of Environment and Water Resources. Thus, the Ministry of Agriculture today is a public body, which is of strategic importance in the development and implementation of sustainable development policies in Kazakhstan [3]. The Ministry is developing a number of measures to stabilize and improve the environment, promotes water safety and efficient management of water resources, and promotes the protection, reproduction and rational use of flora and fauna, specially protected natural areas (Committee forestry, hunting and fisheries).

In addition to this the Ministry, the two large government organizational structures assigned responsibilities in the field of environmental protection: Ministry for Regional Development (in particular the Committee for Land Management) has jurisdiction for the protection and management of land resources; The Ministry of Investment and Development of Kazakhstan (in particular the Committee of Geology and Mining) - protection and rational use of mineral resources.

In addition, the problems of sustainable development in one way or another are connected with the Ministry of National Economy of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Committee for Construction and Housing and Communal Services of the Ministry of Regional Development of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of the Republic of Kazakhstan and others.

Ministry of National Economy is the executive state body in the field of sustainable development. The Ministry within the framework of achieving sustainable development, deals with issues of regional development, state regulation in the field of water supply and sanitation, provision of efficient and effective land management; rhenium and promotes a number of issues in the economic sphere [4].

According to the Strategic Plan of the Ministry of National Economy of the Republic of Kazakhstan for 2014–2018 years, the Ministry solves a number of problems for the rational use of land resources, aimed at increasing agricultural production, improving farming culture, involvement in the turnover of new and currently unused irrigated lands, i.e., Ministry focuses on food security and rural development, but not the solution of environmental problems in its purest form.

The Ministry of Health and Social Development of the Republic of Kazakhstan is responsible for facilitating the implementation of the state social policy in Kazakhstan.

Thus, the Ministry of Environment and Water Resources of the Republic of Kazakhstan can represent the «core» government agency, which is directly involved in sustainable development issues, until recently. Today, these issues are delegated to the Ministry of Agriculture.

Departments are parts of the certain Ministry or Ministries, whereas Committees are advisory bodies for the adoption of collective management and administrative decisions.

Subjects and objects of sustainable development management in the Republic of Kazakhstan are represented at the following Figure 2.

These structures facilitate the implementation of the Concept of sustainable development in the eight zones of ecosystem development in Kazakhstan: Aral-Syrdarya, Balkhash-Alakol, Ertisskoy, Esilsky, Zhaiyk Caspian, Esilskij, Tobol-Torgai, Shu-Talas (Fig. 3).

These zones differ in level of environmental, social and economic development. Moreover, for each region (zone) there is strategic plan of development. Though there are many defects on this way and many aspects are not reflected at these strategies at the moment (for example, not all aspects of social-economic and ecological redevelopment are mentioned and analyzed at the programme of territorial development of the Republic of Kazakhstan which is one the main strategic document for the regions of Kazakhstan).

The Republic of Kazakhstan should unify State public authorities that are responsible for the regulation of natural resources, coordination of departments, enterprises, organizations and institutions to improve the environment and its quality, endowing it with appropriate powers and authority, which should lead to the elimination of duplication with other actors in the management of sustainable development. However, this body should not be a part of the Ministry of Energy or the Ministry of Agriculture, whose scope of issues is already quite large. The main task of the Ministry of Agriculture, in our opinion, is to contribute to food security of the country and the Ministry of Energy of Kazakhstan - energy development.

The current system of environmental management has played a positive role during the formation of the general system of public administration, when the method of direct administration had no alternative. With the stabilization of the economy, it is becoming more visible discrepancy between the operating principles of its management and dynamic changes in the direction of liberal market with macroeconomic conditions [5].

The next stage of development of a market economy requires more sophisticated management models, including and natural resource management. This stage at the popular level is often referred to as «innova- tive», «diversified», «stable», «green» economy. Though not all these names are synonymous, they have a common ground, known in economics as the «economics of open access» or «open economy».

Kazakhstan has already been recognized as a market economy. Nevertheless, in so many respects - and management and socio-economic functioning of our economic model is far from the parameters corresponding to the requirements of the models with the mentioned above title [6].



  1. Safonov, G.V. (2003). Ekolohicheskaia ekonomika i prirodnye resursy. Vvodnyy kurs [Environmental Economics and Natural resources]. Moscow [in Russian].
  2. Polozhenie o Ministerstve enerhetiki Respubliki Kazakhstan [Regulation on the Ministry of Energy of the Republic of Kazakhstan.] (2014). Retrieved from [in Russian].
  3. Ministerstvo okruzhaiushchei sredy i vodnykh resursov Respubliki Kazakhstan [Ministry of Environment and Water Resources of the Republic of Kazakhstan]. Retrieved from [in Russian].
  4. Ministerstvo narodnoho khoziaystva Respubliki Kazakhstan [Ministry of National Economy of the Republic of Kazakhstan]. Retrieved from [in Russsian].
  5. Kontseptsiia pravovoi reformy v oblasti okhrany okruzhaiushchei sredy [The concept of law reform in the area of environmental protection]. (2005). Astana [in Russian].
  6. Miroshnichenko, A.N. (2015). Basseinovaia korporatsiia — instrument konsolidatsii upravleniia vodnymi resursami [Basin Corporation — a tool to consolidate the management of water resources] [in Russian].
Year: 2018
City: Karaganda
Category: Economy