26 February 2021, 17:00pm,
Opening statement by Dr (Ms) Pratibha Mehta,
UNDP Resident Representative in Tajikistan
Dear Mr. Dilovarsho Dustzoda, Director of the Agency for Hydrometeorology under Committee for Environmental Protection, UNFCCC Focal Point for Tajikistan
Dear Mr. Michael Cockle, Deputy Head of mission UK Embassy in Tajikistan
I am very happy to welcome you all to Tajikistan’s Youth debate on Climate Change, UNDP is delighted to take this initiative with the Committee for Environment and Natural Resources under the “Policy Action for Climate Security” regional initiative funded by the UK Government’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office.
Through climate debates we are creating opportunity for young women and men of Tajikistan to become the voice of change for their peaceful, prosperous and healthy future which depends on how we preserve our natural environment that gives us drinking water, fresh air to breathe and food to eat.
But we are facing global climate emergency. Did you know that 2019 was the second hottest year, while 2010- 2019 has been the warmest decade? Around the world, we are witnessing melting glaciers, more floods, landslides, erosion of land and natural disasters. Tajikistan is one of the countries most affected by climate change. I am sure you are noticing the extreme weather changes in Tajikistan - in just past two weeks we have witnessed snow, spring and rain and temperatures fluctuating from plus 20 to minus one. In addition to extreme weather, polluting industries and transport, high consumption of energy, water, plastic, etc. contribute to climate change and disrupting families, social fabric and national economy. Such changes, for example, seriously impact the farmers, their agriculture production, household income and forcing them to migrate to look for other jobs.
Human security depends on climate security. If we don’t act now, we will lose our only home called planet earth.
However, to date, the global commitment to limit global warming, including from Tajikistan, are far from sufficient to meet the 2-degree targets. All countries need to set-up their targets and actions and all members of societies, including the private sector and youth have to make efforts to help enhance targets in their NDCs. Governments from around the world will report their progress on reducing emissions greenhouse gases emissions and future plans at the COP26 climate talks, in Glasgow UK in November and will submit revised nationally determined contributions (NDCs), for the next decade.
This is why UNDP launched a global initiative called the Global Promise to support countries in enhancing their Nationally Determined Contributions, including in Tajikistan and government of Tajikistan is making serious efforts.
70% of tajikistan’s population is young and they have to be part of this process and offer solutions to tackle climate challenges and enhance the ambition of efforts to implement Tajikistan’s commitments to the Paris Agreement.
This climate debate under the “Policy Action for Climate Security” funded by UK government offers an opportunity to young women and men in Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan to contribute their views and solutions in the climate negotiation process. I encourage you to be bold, courageous and creative in debating your views and solutions.
I would like to conclude by saying that UNDP is firmly committed to building your knowledge and capacity, amplifying your voices, and supporting you to proactively participate in the formulation, advocacy and implementation of the NDCs in the future and reducing global impact of climate change.
Good luck and wishing you great debate and discussion in the next two days.