The Aga Khan Agency for Habitat (AKAH)and the Committee for Environmental Protection under the Government of Tajikistan (CoEP) on March 11 organized a tree planting event in Dushanbe’s Victory Park.

The event aimed to protect the green environment and support the alleviation of climate change impacts, which are shared concerns of the Government of Tajikistan as well as the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN)/s agencies that take environmental and climate change perspectives into account in all existing and upcoming plans, according to press release issued by AKDN Office in Tajikistan.

The UN Environment Program states that some 12 million hectares of forest are lost each year.  Around 25% of the world's greenhouse gas emissions are caused by deforestation, agriculture and other land-use changes.

As part of the AKDN approach, this tree-planting activity is in line with the request of the Committee for Environmental Protection, which led to the planting of 1000 trees.  A holistic environmental management strategy and mandate for AKAH and the Government of Tajikistan, this effort aims to promote a green environment, conserve natural resources, and mitigate natural hazards.

“Additionally, it supports States Parties to the UNFCCC's planned strategy to increase National Determined Contributions (NDCs) or measures to reduce national emissions,” the press release says, noting that planting trees helps to protect the planet from both climate change and biodiversity loss.

The CoEP has chosen the suggested tree-planting location as a target area because it is considered strategically significant.  As a component of the forest ecosystem, the Pinus Sylvestris tree has been considered appropriate for its role in delivering oxygen, providing habitat for several wildlife species, stabilizing soil, regulating temperature, capturing and storing carbon, and cycling water and nutrients.

Following the Paris Agreement, Tajikistan officially communicated their Intended Nationally Determined Contribution in 2015.  This document became its NDC once the Paris Agreement was ratified in 2017.  The Government of Tajikistan promised to raise public awareness of tree planting to preserve nature, promote green spaces, and protect the environment from climate change, rapid deforestation, and the subsequent effects of soil and water degradation.

Zafafmo Qiyomzoda, First Deputy Head of the СоEP, stated, "Tajikistan is a member of more than 15 national and international conventions on defending wildlife and ecosystem. Today’s initiative is one of the strong paths toward saving ecology.”

Mr. Qozidavlat Qoimdodov, the AKDN Resident Representative in Tajikistan, added, "AKDN and the Tajik government have a long-standing collaboration.  As Tajik citizens and AKDN representatives, the knowledge we have gained in protecting, restoring, and developing of safe, green, sustainable, and healthy environment is not only an honor for us, but it also demonstrates our responsibility for protecting the environment and lays the groundwork for future economic and social advancement.”

Tajikistan has made efforts to raise its ambition throughout this short period by creating the national regulatory framework and implementing various initiatives and interventions together with development partners.  There is a big hope for cooperation towards safer and cleaner nature, the press release said.