Addressing the climate change challenges and the growing threat of global warming has long been one of the main goals of many countries around the world. In Tajikistan, among various actions to address the climate change issues, the Government adopted its "2030 National Strategy for Adaptation to Climate Change of the Republic of Tajikistan" in 2019. In addition, the "Green Climate Action Month" was conducted on October 24 - November 21 to raise awareness on the importance of these issues in Tajikistan.

The issue of climate change and how this phenomenon can have a negative impact on the environment and the lives of the population was highlighted by the President Rahmon of Tajikistan at the conference "Water for Sustainable Development 2018-2028" in June 2018. In his speech, the President referred to the long-term observations showing an increasing impact of climate change on nature and the socio-economic situation in Tajikistan and Central Asia.

“Based on these observations, over the past 60 years, the average annual temperature in Tajikistan has risen by one degree, and the frequency and intensity of natural hydrometeorological disasters have increased. Due to the impact of these factors, natural disasters in Tajikistan such as floods, mudflows, avalanches and landslides cause serious damage to the population and economy of the country every year. In addition, over the past few decades, we have lost about 1,000 small and medium-sized glaciers” the President said.


Adaptation measures

In 2019, Tajikistan adopted its “2030 National Strategy for Adaptation to Climate Change in the Republic of Tajikistan”. As the strategy mentions, Tajikistan ranks first among the countries of Europe and Central Asia within the Climate Change Vulnerability Index, and therefore is a particularly sensitive country due to its low adaptation capacity according to this norm. Given the intensification of existing challenges and the emergence of new threats, climate change is likely to be an obstacle to achieving Tajikistan's development priorities.

Climate change risks and adaptive measures to reduce the consequences of these risks for the population and key sectors of the economy are important elements of Tajikistan’s 2030 National Development Strategy.

According to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, the country's average temperature will rise from 1.8°C to 2.9 °C by 2050. “It will affect all sectors of Tajikistan. For example, as a result of climate change (including sudden and rapid melting of glaciers), the risk of floods, mudslides and avalanches increases, which already occur regularly during the months of spring snowmelt. As the National Strategy mentions, drought, floods and the extreme weather coupled by growing poverty issues (loss of crops and deprivation of income) have been further fostering the migration processes, and thereby forcing people to look for work".

The climate change is happening all over the world. The rise in planet's temperature is due to the so-called greenhouse affect caused by an excess of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. In fact, greenhouse gases are very important for the earth, they allow sunlight to warm the planet, but due to their abundance, especially carbon dioxide, hot air does not release our planet into space in time, which causes the earth to overheat.

Tajikistan, compared to other countries in the Central Asian region, has a relatively low level of carbon emissions and ranks 132nd while Uzbekistan ranks 38th, Kyrgyzstan 116th, and Kazakhstan 23rd. However, Tajikistan is the most vulnerable country in the region.

In order to prevent the temperature of the planet from rising above normal, it is necessary to reduce the emission of carbon dioxide (carbon monoxide) into the atmosphere, and for this purpose the countries of the world, including Tajikistan, are taking measures. Therefore, countries have decided to keep carbon dioxide levels safe for the environment. To this end, five years ago, the Paris Climate Conference participants reached an agreement under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change to regulate actions to reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere starting from 2020.

Tajikistan, along with 196 UN member states, signed the agreement on April 22, 2016 at the UN Headquarters, and the Tajik Parliament ratified it on February 13, 2017. This means that Tajikistan is taking actions at the government level to address the issues of environmental pollution and climate change to promote well-being of its population and prevent the negative impact of climate change on the country's economy.

The goal of the Paris Agreement is to maintain the average global temperature during this century compared to the pre-industrial period by at least 2°C and to limit it to 1.5°C. To this end, the governments signatories to the Paris Agreement agreed to introduce a new low-carbon model of economic development in their countries, based on the gradual abandonment of traditional technologies for extraction, processing and use subsoil resources in favor of "green" technologies.

Dilovarsho Dustzoda, Director of the Meteorological Agency, Permanent Representative of Tajikistan to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), National Coordinator for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, noted that Tajikistan’s Fourth National Communication on the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change would elaborate on all commitments the country has undertaken to fulfill the objectives of the Paris Agreement.

“Indeed, COVID-19 affects not only the lives of millions of people, but also the environment. Decreased movement of people led to lower CO2 emissions. In this regard, scientists confirm that air quality has improved in some areas. Air pollution is reduced during the shutdown of industrial plants, aircraft and other vehicles. But we need to ask ourselves whether this positive impact will remain sustainable as a long-term process,” Dustzoda added.


Melting of glaciers

Climate experts have long been warning about the rapid melting of Tajikistan's glaciers. About 30% of the ice sheet has been lost since 1930 at its current rate of melting with an annual loss of 0.5% -0.8%. Fedchenko - the largest glacier in Tajikistan, with a total volume of 144 km3, has shrunk 1 km and has lost about 5 km3 of ice since the beginning of the 20th century. According to experts, there are more than 13,000 glaciers in Tajikistan. Their total volume is 850 km3.

By 2050, this number could be halved, meaning that some glaciers in Tajikistan could disappear completely if no action is taken today. Melting of glaciers increases the risk of floods due to the outflow of glacial lakes in the country. This will have a devastating impact on the country's economy: heavy floods and subsequent droughts will take a heavy toll on the country's agricultural sector – the source of income for more than 60 percent of the country's population. Decreased productivity leads to lower living standards. Therefore, the adaptation measures taken by the Government of Tajikistan are very important and timely.

However, the issue of climate change in Tajikistan and its consequences directly affect not only the country itself but all countries in Central Asia. After all, it is well known that a significant part of the water resources of Central Asia is formed in Tajikistan, and the melting of glaciers in our country poses a great threat to the entire region as a whole. We mean the negative impact of climate change on hydropower, water supply and irrigation.


Green climate development

On October 24 of this year, the Green Climate Action Month began in Tajikistan, which lasted until November 21. It was implemented by the Committee for Environmental Protection of the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan jointly with GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit), German Federal Enterprise for International Cooperation. As part of this month's action, online events were held to protect the environment and the green climate in Tajikistan. Detailed information is available at:

According to the event organizers, the Green Climate Action Month aimed at improving awareness and drawing attention to environmental issues, increasing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and the climate change around the world. The climate change is exacerbating the impact of environmental degradation and affecting many elements of Tajikistan's economy. All these activities were aimed at raising public awareness on environmental issues. The events were conducted online, which increased audience access and enabled the organizers to reach more people.

“Last but not least, the Green Climate Action Month also aimed at raising awareness of the intertwinned nature of climate change, behavioral change and inspiring people to fight climate change. The online events comprised climate change challenges, craft contests, quizzes, student debates, a series of podcasts and presentations by experts”.

The event ended on November 20 with a Panel Discussion with participation of government officials, civil society and the international community. Zarafo Kiemzoda Sufijon, Deputy Chairman of the Committee for Environmental Protection of the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan, in her speech at the panel discussion, highlighted the importance of activities to educate the population about the environment. According to Ms. Kiemzoda, the Comprehensive Program for the Development of Environmental Education and Public Awareness of the Republic of Tajikistan is completing in Tajikistan in 2020, and the Committee is currently developing a new program of this kind for 2021-2025.

Speaking at the event, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Germany to the Republic of Tajikistan Dr. Andreas Protmann noted: “Tajikistan is an important partner in contributing to these international frameworks. For example, a signatory of the Convention on Biological Diversity, the most important multilateral agreement for the protection of biodiversity, and the Paris Agreement, a milestone global agreement to avoid dangerous climate change”.

Dr. Andreas Protmann also added that through its National Development Strategy until 2030, Tajikistan has shown strong commitment to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, the UN`s comprehensive plan to abolish poverty and work towards social inclusion, environmental protection and sustainable economic growth.

It was noted that to allow our children a prosperous life, it is important to trigger shifts in the Tajik economy, that enable it to embark on a sustainable path making it more resilient to global shocks, such as the current pandemic as well as climate change-induced challenges.