Over 1,000 small glaciers have disappeared in Tajikistan over the past thirty years, Deputy Director of the Hydrometeorology Agency of Tajikistan, Karimjon Abduhalimov, noted at the two-day Central Asia Climate Change Conference 2019 (CACCC-2019) that kicked off in the Uzbek capital, Tashkent, on April 3. 

According to him, climate change poses serious threat to the process of providing favorable living conditions for population and protecting water resources in the region. 

“Of 14,000 glaciers in Tajikistan which are of vital significance for the whole region, more than 1,000 small glaciers have disappeared over the past thirty years,” Abduhalimov noted.

Rising temperatures and melting glaciers increased the risk of drought, landslides and floods that poses real threat to food, water and energy security and population health, Tajik expert said.  

Abduhalimov proposed the conference participants to extend the countries’ national strategies for adaptation to climate change to the regional scale. 

The Central Asian Climate Change Conference is one of the largest events in the region to address issues of environmental protection.

Nearly 400 representatives of government agencies, international and regional partners, multilateral development banks and civil society organizations, as well as academicians working on climate change, gathered at the two-day conference.

Central Asia, with a population of over 70 million, has been confronting fallouts of climate change.  Fragile ecosystems, natural disasters, unstable water and energy supply, disproportions in economic development are only a few factors of the region's vulnerability, experts said during the conference.

Experts stressed the high vulnerability of Central Asia's water resources to climate change.  If global temperature rises by 4 degrees Celsius, the demand for irrigation water will increase by about 30 percent.

The region's glaciers have already decreased by one third of its volume in comparison with the beginning of the 20th century.

Central Asia has already faced one of the worst human-made environmental disasters of the century -- the drying up of the Aral Sea, once the fourth-largest lake in the world.

The CACCC-2019 is a continuation of the World Bank’s initiative for climate change knowledge and information exchange in Central Asia, and is organized under the frameworks of CAMP4ASB project.  The previous CACCC was organized on January 24-25, 2018 in Almaty, Kazakhstan, and resulted in joint collaborative actions of many stakeholders.