Reaching tipping point? Climate change and poverty in Tajikistan
The people of Tajikistan, a small, mountainous country in Central Asia, are experiencing the impacts of climate change. More frequent droughts and heightened extreme weather conditions are hitting poor communities, eroding their resilience. The country's glaciers are melting, bringing the danger, in the future, of greater water shortages and potential disputes in the wider region. Last summer's unusually good rains and consequent harvest brought some relief to rural communities across Tajikistan but the long-term trends are clear - and ominous.
This report is based on interviews undertaken in communities in Spitamen and Ganchi in the north and Vose, Fakhor, and Temurmalik in the south in October 2009. It gives an insight into how poor men and women are experiencing climate change, and what challenges they are currently facing - and will continue to face in the future. It makes recommendations on what needs to happen to help them cope better with climate change.
- At a community level: improve access to water and methods of food storage and preservation. Provide more support and training in agricultural techniques and marketing. Scale up better insulation of houses, use of energy efficient stoves, biogas, solar power and use of passive solar greenhouses
- At a national level: support farmers to adapt and have more resilient livelihood strategies; integrate climate change response across government departments and into national planning; strengthen disaster risk reduction programmes; implement research programmes on climate change and its impacts
- At regional and international level: negotiations must get straight back on track to achieve a fair, ambitious, and binding deal in 2010 to tackle climate change; rich countries need to provide $200 billion per year by 2020 to help developing countries adapt and reduce their own emissions. In Central Asia, institutions for regional co-operation must be strengthened, in particular to monitor and manage water resources in the light of glacial melt, higher temperatures and increases in water scarcity.