An article posted on’s website says government agencies in Central Asian countries and international organizations that deal with environmental issues, especially climate change, do not sufficiently take into account the opinions of young environmentalists.

Climate change issues are particularly important for Tajikistan, because of its mountainous ecosystems, which make up about 93% of its territory, is particularly vulnerable to climate change.  

Since the late 1990s, the country has signed the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), including the Kyoto Protocol and subsequently the Paris Agreement. In 2003, Tajikistan adopted the National Action Plan of the Republic of Tajikistan on Climate Change Mitigation, the National Strategy for Adaptation to Climate Change in 2019 and the second Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC).  

Young expert from Tajikistan Anisa Abdulloyeva notes that despite the active climate policies of the country, the question arises as to what extent all segments of society, especially young people, are involved in the process in these countries?

In Tajikistan, young people make up the majority of the population -- about 40% of the population is young, and 68% are under 30 years of age.   

In Tajikistan, youth engagement on climate issues is critical for sustainable development. However, there are pronounced challenges that limit the active participation of youth in environmental decision-making.

Youth participation in decision-making is reportedly a fundamental condition for the realization of the rights and interests of young people.

For example, since 2004, Tajikistan has adopted the Law on Youth and State Youth Policy.  The expert notes that the Majlisi Milli (Tajikistan’s upper chamber of parliament) has a Committee on Agrarian Issues, Employment and Environment and a Committee on Social Issues, Health, Science, Education, Culture and Youth and Women’s Policy.  Both Committees consist of a representative, a deputy representative and three members. But there are no youth representatives in both Committees (data as of January 2024).  There are various initiatives to establish provincial or local councils with international assistance, also by community youth organizations and centers, but the initiatives are usually short-term and depend on external support.

The Committee for Environmental Protection under the Government of Tajikistan is the main state body authorized to develop climate change policy, as well as to oversee the State Hydrometeorology Institution. Young specialists are also not represented among the management and representatives of structural subdivisions of this Committee.  In addition, among the management (3 persons) and ten heads of departments, only two women are represented (data as of January 2024).

Often government bodies or international development organizations reportedly include youth participation in a formal way, giving the appearance of building a dialogue with young people and engaging them in a meaningful way.

International organizations try to strengthen the position of young people by sending them to international arenas and supporting them at regional key water and climate conferences. However, it is observed that specialists of these organizations most often determine in advance the questions and formats of consultations to be answered by young people. They also control analyses and conclusions.

UN organizations and other international development organizations in the region also involve youth as volunteers, consultants, and organizers of youth conferences in order to reduce the cost of fees and increase the visibility of youth inclusion for donors.

In addition, the process of selecting youth representatives for various international conferences is reportedly not transparent and their participation is not significant.  In some cases, the selected youth representatives do not have adequate prior preparation to participate in such major events and lack a basic understanding of climate change issues.

The exert notes that for young activists seeking to contribute to environmental projects, lack of funding and resources becomes a significant obstacle.  Most young people reportedly face limitations in accessing the necessary funds and opportunities to realize their ideas and projects. Also, there are limited opportunities for “green” jobs and there is a shortage of technical environmental specialists in the region.

Besides, the field of environmental protection is not a widespread and attractive topic for young people and they are not very willing to engage professionally in the environmental field. Young people do not have a sufficient understanding of current environmental problems and how to solve them.  

In addition, lack of cooperation among eco-youth groups as well as ageism and stereotypes also become a serious obstacle for young activists.