Tabigat Ecological Union
Tabigat Ecological Union, founded in 1991, is one of the first environmental NGOs in Kazakhstan. Its goal is to create ecological standards for industry, introduce advanced, non-polluting technology in the industrial sector and promote sustainable development in the region.
The first problem addressed by Tabigat is the threat of flooding by wastewaters from the Almaty City storage facility of Lake Sor-Bulak, which may affect 50,000 citizens in Balchshsky and Kurtinsky. In 1999, the Almaty Department of Ecology and Tabigat conducted a feasibility study of Sor-Bulak, which today serves as a model for other regions.
Another problem addressed by Tabigat was solid waste disposal. The authorities were to build an incinerator in the city, which would have an adverse effect on the air quality of Almaty. Tabigat opposed the construction of the incinerator and proposed alternatives for collecting and recycling the wastes, e.g. sorting the trash and redistributing it to different national industries.
Tabigat won support for establishing a resource center, which would collect and create a database for housing superintendents and apartment managers that allows interested organizations such as municipal offices and homeowners to access information on environmental issues.
In an effort to fight against desertification, Tabigat has encouraged the people of Kazakhstan to celebrate the traditional holiday of Nauryz with every Kazakhstani planting a tree. In 1998, Tabigat and the National Park "Ile-Alatau" opened a honeymoon park near the mountain of Medeo where newlyweds plant trees. In 1999, based on initiatives by Tabigat, more than 4,500 people planted 10,000 trees on 20 hectares surrounding the Vesnovka River.
In 1997, at the initiative of Tabigat, the Ministry of Ecology agreed to provide 500,000 tenge (national currency) for a feasibility study for the creation of Cherinsky, a national park between the Cherin, Chilik and Ily Rivers and the Togougir Mountains. The park will have restrictions and penalties for negligent tourists, poachers and other undesirable visitors. The plan calls for the development of ecotourism.
About 70% of emissions in Almaty come from transport. Due to the increase in vehicles and the pollution they cause, Tabigat organized a bicycle movement, which includes the development of bicycle lanes in the City and research into the flow of traffic on major city arteries.