The Central Asian Leadership Program of Education for Sustainable Development (CALPESD)


September 2010 – December 2024
Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan
Funding sources
UN Environment, The Norwegian Environment Agency, OSCE Secretariat in Vienna, OSCE Program Office in Nur-Sultan
Thematic area
Education for sustainable development
  • Association of NaturalResource Users for Sustainability (KAPUR)
  • Asian Institute of Technology (AIT)
  • NGO "EcoIdea"
  • NGO Center for Sustainable Consumption
  • NGO "Akmena"
  • International IT-University Almaty
  • World Bank
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland
  • Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI)
  • European Union, OSCE Program office in Dushanbe
  • Kazakh-German University (DKU)

The Central Asian Environment Leadership Program for Sustainable Development (CALP) is the CAREC’s flagship initiative and a unique example of a multi-partner and intersectoral project in the region of Central Asia and Afghanistan, successfully operating from 2010 to present time with the support of different partners, including UNEP, the Government of Norway and the OSCE Programme Office in Nur-Sultan (Astana).

CALP is a successful example of replicating the experience of the China Leadership Program implemented by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) at Tonji University in Central Asia.

For today it is the only regular capacity building program on the environment for sustainable development in Central Asia for government, private sector and civil society representatives, allowing participants to gain a comprehensive understanding of sustainable development issues.

From year to year CALP is becoming more and more attractive for young people from Central Asia and Afghanistan, especially for governmental agencies and departments, dealing with environmental issues. If in 2010, 13 people from 4 Central Asian countries participated in the 1st CALP (course duration 3 days), the 6th CAPL of 2015 have been attended by 35 people from 6 countries - Central Asia and Afghanistan (duration course 9 days). CALP members are selected based on criteria developed by CAREC and partners, and the qualitative composition of participants improves year after year, with more than 60% of them being civil servants from Central Asian countries.

Participants in all Leadership Programs have the opportunity not only to acquire new knowledge, but also to develop potential, skills and competencies in areas related to sustainable development. The Leadership Program focuses on the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the global level and in Central Asia, green growth, climate change, water management, access to drinking water, development of renewable energy sources and cross-border cooperation in Central Asia.

In addition, the Leadership Program promotes partnership, cooperation, and new partnership networks among leaders in Central Asia representing government, civil society, and the private sector, which can be the basis for new ideas and projects.

To contribute to the expansion of comprehensive thinking and ability to make decisions and create business relationships among the participants - representatives of the government, the private sector and civil society; motivate the integration of environmental and sustainable development issues for effective decision-making; create and develop networks between emerging Central Asian leaders.

1st CALP: 28–30.09.2010; 

2nd CALP: 15–17.09.2011;

3rd CALP: 17–28.09.2012; 

4th CALP: 16–24.09.2013; 

5th Anniversary CALP: 16–24.09.2014;

6th CALP: 14–22.09.2015;

7th CALP: 19–30.09.2016.

8th CALP: 11-20.09.2017

9th CALP: 17-26.09.2018

10th Anniversary CALP: 16-25.09.2019

The 1st Central Asian Leadership Program was first held by UNEP in Astana in September 2010, in parallel with the 6th Conference of the Ministers of Environment and Development of the Asia-Pacific Region (APR) for young leaders and professionals from government, private sector and civil society of the Central Asian countries. The three-day program was conducted in partnership with Nazarbayev University and CAREC.

Prior to the 7th Ministerial Conference “Environment for Europe”, CAREC, in cooperation with UNEP, held the 2nd Central Asian Leadership Program in Almaty, Kazakhstan, from September 15-17, 2011.

The 3rd Leadership Program was organized in CAREC from September 17 to September 28, 2012 with the participation of 25 young and promising representatives of the state, the private sector and civil society in Central Asia. The 4th Leadership Program was held from September 16 to 24, 2013, and was attended for the first time by representatives from Afghanistan - experts in water resources and transboundary cooperation.

In September 2013, the 4th Leadership Program was attended by 30 representatives not only of the five Central Asian countries, but also for the first time Afghanistan.

The 5th Anniversary Leadership Program was conducted by CAREC from September 16 to 24, 2014, in cooperation and with the support of its permanent partners, UNEP, the Government of Norway and the OSCE Program Office in Astana, 30 representatives from Central Asia and Afghanistan took part in it.

The 6th Central Asian Environmental Leadership Program for Sustainable Development was held by CAREC in cooperation with UNEP, with the support of the Government of Norway and the OSCE Program Office in Astana from September 14 to September 22, 2015 in Almaty. The most active leaders from governments, the private sector and civil society from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Afghanistan took part in the competition, with about 100 applications. Special attention was made to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Central Asia, countries' transition to a green economy, rational use of water resources, access to drinking water, gender balance, energy efficiency and sustainable energy. The program is designed to provide a comprehensive assessment of sustainable development issues in the context of global challenges (such as climate change, glacier degradation, land resources, ecosystems, population growth, etc.) in light of the needs and priorities of Central Asia.

Young leaders from:

  • State bodies and relevant environmental ministries of the participating countries;

  • Business sector

  • NGOs and civil society

Acting Program manager : Valeriya Orlova    

Ext. Phone: 185