Press Release

Media Contest: Change for Climate in Kazakhstan

06 June 2021

The UN in Kazakhstan is offering the chance for journalists and bloggers in Kazakhstan to put their writing skills at the service of the environment and win vouchers for electronic equipment worth up to 2500 USD and a trip to COP26 Summit in Glasgow.

The contest starts on World Environment Day (5 June) and the winners will be announced on the International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies (7 September).

How is climate change affecting Kazakhstan, and what does it mean for our health, economy, food supply and all the nature we live with? What opportunities exist for adapting to climate change in Kazakhstan, or for mitigating it in the first place?

Our challenge to you is to write articles that make climate change the topic of conversation at breakfast and dinner tables across Kazakhstan and inspire the way for solutions.

Climate action is essential for building the world we all want after COVID-19. We must urgently get on track to bring the global temperature rise down to 1.5-degrees, in line with the Paris Agreement. The United Nations Secretary General has described climate change as the greatest challenge of our time.

Partly due to intensive urban development, the temperature of surface soil in Nur-Sultan can reach a stifling 65–70°C in the summer. Climate change means that temperatures in the capital are only likely to increase. In response, the city plans for over half of its land area to flourish with green cover by 2030. The green spaces will cool and clean the air, capture carbon dioxide, be a home to wildlife and boost citizen’s mental health, in a win-win for people and the environment.   


Contest rules:

  1. Journalists and bloggers are invited to submit an article of 800 words max published in online or print media. The article should be aimed at raising awareness on the threat posed by climate change to Kazakhstan, the possible solutions in terms of climate mitigation or adaptation, or both.
  1. The article should be a factual piece of writing published on a print and/or online media outlet, newsletter, website or blog. The article should be written in Kazakh, Russian, or English languages.
  1. Apart from the article file, application should include DOC or PDF document per writing piece with the complete name of the author, his or her nationality, the city where they reside in Kazakhstan, his/her position at the media outlet or blog, a link to the published article online, and a brief description (not more than 100 words) of what inspired them to write the entry (see the Annex). The document should also include the names of the people who collaborated in the production of the article (photographer, co-author, researcher, etc.). If the article is selected, as already mentioned, only the main writer will receive the prize, and it will be for him or her to decide if and how the award voucher will be divided between the members of the team.
  1. Entries must be submitted in PDF or DOC format to Applications will be accepted from World Environment Day (5 June) until midnight CET on 31 July 2021. For extra inquiries contact number: +7 727 272 05 09; cell: +7 707 638 97 74.
  1. Participants should meet the following criteria:
  • Citizenship of the Republic of Kazakhstan
  • Age: at least 18 years old
  1. A panel composed of UN staff members and UN partners will judge articles according to:
  • The creativity involved and originality of the angle taken to tell the story.
  • The level of research that has gone into the article.
  • The extent to which the article could inspire other state officials/businesses/other organisations/individuals to take climate action.
  1. The winner will receive a voucher for electronic equipment worth 2500 USD and win a trip to the COP26 Summit in Glasgow in November 2021 (based on quarantine measures and restrictions). The second runner-up will receive a voucher worth 1300 USD and third runner-up will receive a voucher worth 800 USD. Authors of 10 best articles will receive certificates from the UN in Kazakhstan.
  1. An eligible entrant must be an individual. Entrants must be the authors and copyright owners of the writing submitted in their name. The writing should be an original piece of work and not a translation or adaptation of another writer’s work. Each candidate can submit as many entries as they wish.
  1. Authors are encouraged to include photos with their articles, and must ensure they have the rights to use the photos.  Article authors can decide to share part of their prize voucher with other colleagues involved in the production of the article (research, photography, etc.). UN will grant only one voucher per winning article, regardless of how many people were involved in its creation.
  1. The authors of all the submitted articles will withhold the rights to their work. By submitting their articles, authors grant UN the right to use them for non-commercial purposes, always crediting the authors and media outlets. Any commercial use will require the agreement of the author and media outlet.
  1. Authors based in other countries may participate as well, but are not eligible for the prizes, nor the mentioned certificates. UN staff members, consultants and interns may take part but are not eligible for the prizes. Any writer who is not eligible for the prize but whose article is selected by the jury, would still receive a UN certificate.
  1. By submitting the application, the applicant guarantees that he/she has all necessary rights to the submitted material, that these rights are not pledged or under arrest, and that he/she does not violate the rights of third parties by his/her actions in relation to the submitted material. Works must not contain advertising materials. Submitted materials will not be reviewed or returned.
  1. Works containing elements prohibited by the legislation of the Republic of Kazakhstan, defamation, statements and actions of an offensive nature, humiliating human dignity, inciting political, religious, national hatred, etc. are not allowed for participation.
  1. The UN Resident Coordinator Office, UN Development Program and UN Environment Program in Kazakhstan will publish the winning article on UN, UNDP websites and may showcase a selection of submitted articles on its social media channels and on the International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies as of 7 September.



Elnara Bainazarova

Elnara Bainazarova

RCO Communications and Advocacy Adviser
Elnara co-chairs the UN Communications Group; plans and facilitates strategy, advocacy and programme communications in support of the UNSDCF; coordinates the communication and advocacy activities on the UNCT; supports the RC and the UNCT on public messaging and media outreach; supports publication and branding management; leads and supports the UNCT digital communication and key communication products development; liaises with local media environment and conducts networking and partnership relations with key national media outlets.

UN entities involved in this initiative

United Nations Resident Coordinator Office
United Nations Development Programme
United Nations Environment Programme

Goals we are supporting through this initiative