On the Rise of Aliya Nazarbayeva

On Friday, February 14, a meeting was supposed to take place in Kazakhstan between the activists and the Prime Minister of the country related to the necessity and legality of collecting the recycling fee by private company Operator ROP and to the ways of solving the problem with the Armenian and Kyrgyz cars. Aliya Nazarbayeva’s shadow is looming over all these sensitive issues. It looks like Nazarbayev's third daughter is turning into the «enfant terrible» of Kazakhstan’s number one family.

Let us start by saying that, on February 3, 2020, the Mazhilis (Lower House) of the Kazakh Parliament published a press-release titled «A New Environmental Code Has Been Presented to the Mazhilis» (text in bold by kz.expert).

»Today, the Ministry of Ecology, Geology and Natural Resources has presented a draft of the new Environmental Code and the accompanying legislature with amendments related to the ecology issues. When opening the session, Chairman of the Mazhilis Committee on the Issues of Ecology and the Use of Natural Resources Gleb Schegelsky remarked that the new Environmental Code had been developed on the basis of the Leader of the Nation Nursultan Nazarbayev’s orders on updating the environmental law and prioritizing the ecologically sustainable development as well as on the tasks of working out a unified environmental policy formulated by Head of the State Kossym-Jomart Tokajev».

»Reporting on the draft legislature, Minister of Ecology, Geology and Natural Resources Magzum Mirzagaliyev noted that, in comparison with the current Environmental Code, the new one aims to take preventive measures for not allowing negative influences to affect the environment.

With that, according to the Minister, the introduction of the best available techniques (BAT) serves as the real possibility to improve the ecological situation in the country. To do so, industrial facilities must undergo a technology audit as part of which they would determine what technologies allow to reduce the volume of polluting emissions, said he.

For the biggest operating pollutants, the introduction of the BAT is supposed to happen on the step-by-step basis. At first, the 50 biggest oil and gas, mining and smelting, chemical and electric power industries responsible for 80% of the polluting emissions in the country are to undergo the BAT implementation.

Before the end of 2023, the industry-specific BAT manuals based on the complex technology audit are to have been developed. During the period from 2024 to 2025, the complex ecological permits are planned to be given out based on the BAT manuals. Industries will implement the BAT in accordance with the environmental efficiency program over the course of 10 years. With that, the industries that will have implemented the BAT will be released from paying the emission fee. In the case the BAT has not been implemented, the fee tariffs will rise. Therefore, it is not so much a prohibitive as a motivational mechanism».

»Apart from that, the issues of the solid domestic waste landfills and the growth of the number of fly dumping spaces remain topical. The Minister has informed that, currently, the comprehensive data on the industries collecting, transporting, recycling and utilizing waste is absent; the instances of violations related to the handling of the waste have been registered. Apart from that, the current legislature does not regulate the operations of the companies engaged in waste handling. For this purpose, the new Environmental Code offers the licensing of the operations related to handling hazardous waste and the notification requirement — in re waste collecting and transporting. This will allow to maintain a register of the specific industries involved in waste collecting, transporting, recycling and utilizing».

The introduction of the «pollutant pays» principle is yet another novation of the Environmental Code draft, says the Minister. This principle was first formulated by the OECD experts in 1072. This mechanism offers measures for preventing pollution and monitoring as well as for placing responsibility for reducing the environmental damage. In other words, they propose to create the conditions when it would be advantageous for a natural resource user to take measures not to inflict environmental damage than to pay environmental fees. And in the case environmental damage is done, the natural resource user will have to restore the environment to its original state».

»Apart from that, the draft of the Environmental Code offers the mandatory funding of the environmental protection measures via the coming environmental payments to the extent of 100%».

We do we accentuate these changes to the Kazakh environmental law in particular?

Because, in spite of all their validity, actuality and necessity, they will invariably lead to the solidifying of the domestic political standing of Aliya Nazarbayeva, the third daughter (out of five) of the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Leader of the Nation Nursultan Nazarbayev. 

In Kazakhstan, it has long stopped being a secret that she, de-facto and de-jure, is leading the environmental movement in the country (the only thing that we do not know is whether she does it out of her personal inclinations, political necessity or due to the fact that, previously, this sector of the national economy was unmonitored by the country’s number one family).

So, the aforementioned press-release says that:

»Representatives of the Atameken National Entrepreneurs Chamber, of the Association of Ecological Organizations of Kazakhstan, of the International Green Technologies & Investments Center, the Coalition for «Green Economy» and Development G-Global, the Kazakhstan Association of Oil-Gas and Energy Sector Organizations KAZENERGY, the Republican Association of Mining and Metallurgical Enterprises, the Eurasian Industrial Association «The Union of Manufacturers and Exporters of Kazakhstan», the Kazakhstan Waste Management Association KazWaste, the Association of Recyclers, Disposers and Garbage Disposals Organizations for Solid Domestic Waste AWOK and other organizations have participated in the meeting».

Of these, two organizations exist under the direct control of billionaire Timur Kulibayev, the husband of Nursultan Nazarbayev’s second daughter Dinara. Note that he is heading the Atameken National Entrepreneurs Chamber in the capacity of the Chairman of the Presidium while leading the Kazakhstan Association of Oil-Gas and Energy Sector Organizations KAZENERGY simply as the Chairman.

As for other two organizations — the Association of Ecological Organizations of Kazakhstan and the International Green Technologies & Investments Center — these are the «domains» of Aliya Nazarbayeva. She is leading the first organization in the capacity of the Chairperson of the Presidium and controls the second through the first one.

The thing is that non-profit joint-stock company International Green Technologies & Investments Center was founded to implement Governmental Decree 224 of April 27, 2018, with 100% state participation. It was registered by the legal authorities on May 31, 2018. Thus, it was founded by the Kazakh Government personified by the State Property and Privatization Committee of the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

Later, the right to own and use the state’s share of the organization were given to the Ministry of Ecology, Geology and Natural Resources. However, in April 2019, 50% plus one share of the non-profit was individually sold to the Association of Ecological Organizations of Kazakhstan. Thus, now these two structures are operating in tandem and under the direct leadership of Nursultan Nazarbayev’s most beloved daughter.

Let us repeat that we are unaware of the reasons why Alyia Nazarbayeva has got involved in the environmental issues but the very fact that this internationally topical matter has received such an influential champion in Kazakhstan speaks volumes. For instance, about the prospects of this business, if not today, then in the near future. Of course, in contrast to Timur Kulibayev whom Nursultan Nazarbayev unofficially entrusted with the oil-gas sector supervision one quarter of a century ago or to Dariga Nazarbayeva and her son Nurali Aliyev who monitor the Kazakh communications sector, Aliya Nazarbayeva will have harder time earning the monopoly profit.

And that’s not so much due to the fact that, last year, her father handed the presidential chair and authorities (albeit not the position of the supreme power in the country) to his successor Kossym-Jomart Tokayev. The thing is that the internal political transition has overlapped with the dramatic rise of the protest sentiment in the country as a result of which the new President must constantly make concessions (so far, in small ways though).

Apart from that, the animosity inside not just the ruling elite as a whole but the country’s number one family has grown in a significant way. With that, the older sister of the Chairperson of the Presidium of the Associations of Ecological Organizations of Kazakhstan serves as the main stimulating agent in this development.

Therefore, the main risk that will accompany Aliya Nazarbayeva in the incoming years and, in our opinion, will be realized with 100% probability lies in the fact that she may become as unloved as Dariga Nazarbayeva is by her country. She may even surpass her sister in this matter. For the Head of the Senate of the Kazakh Parliament is responsible for nothing in particular, therefore, it is not easy to make specific claims against her whereas doing business on ecology invariably means more expenses for both domestic entrepreneurs and practically all the country’s citizens.

To confirm this, let us revoke the issue of reregistering the cars with Kyrgyz, Russian and Armenian licenses in Kazakhstan. This issue has turned out to be so sensitive and the citizens’ reaction to it was so stringent that Kossym-Jomart Tokayev is now forced to delay its solving until March 1, 2021.

We recommend reading the quotes from the Mazhilis’ official press-release again in order to confirm that the following groups will invariably get under the blow inflicted by the ecologists and their leader Aliya Nazarbayeva:

— first, «the 50 biggest oil and gas, mining and smelting, chemical and electric power industries responsible for 80% of the polluting emissions in the country»,

— then, the industries involved in waste receiving, storing and recycling and, through them, the entire Kazakh business without exception,

— and, finally, all the citizens who will be unable (by any way and by any means) to escape the environmental control and monitoring on the part of the environmental non-profits and the state structures that support them.

In view of this, we can forecast with confidence that not only a dramatic increase of the critical response directed at Nursultan Nazarbayev’s third daughter but the massive-scale leakage of all kinds of compromising materials related to her personal fortune and the sources of its accumulation, to the businesses that she and her husband are involved in, to the offshore schemes, the real estate located abroad as well as to the secret details of her private life including the names of her sex-partners and her drug abuse is to be awaited.

Bottom line, Aliya Nazarbayeva won’t get a chance to become Greta Thunberg…


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