Date/time: 17 March 2021, at 9 a.m. Venue: Serena Hotel
Remarks by Dr. Pratibha Mehta, UNDP Resident Representative
Mr. Bahodur Sheralizoda, Chairman of the Committee for Environmental Protection
Let me begin by congratulating Mr. Sheralizoda on his appointment as the Chairman of the Committee on Environmental Protection, I am convinced that under your leadership, our collaboration with the Committee for Environmental Protection will have a new impetus towards addressing environmental issues in the country, positively impacting peoples’ lives, and bringing the country closer to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
We are meeting today in the wake of unprecedented crisis of covid and it is estimated that climate change would further increase the threat of new diseases and pandemics. In fact, climate change presents the single biggest threat to development, and, in the long run, to the existence of humanity. No country in the world can avoid climate change impacts, we need global and level efforts to deal with this emergency and the Sustainable Development Goal 13 provides the framework for action, not only to combat climate change and its impacts, but also to build resilience in responding to climate-related hazards and natural disasters.
As we known, Tajikistan is one of the most climate-vulnerable country in the Europe and CIS region and least able to adapt largely because of high dependency on natural resources. Over 66% of the population is engaged in agriculture, 2/3 of agricultural production depends on irrigation, 55% of cereal crops depends on precipitation. It is estimated that annual losses of gross agricultural output, caused by disasters attributable to climate events, is approximately 1/3 of all losses.
Massive efforts and investments in climate change adaptation are needed. UNDP is assisting the government in multiple ways from policy reforms and capacity development of national local stakeholders. Today’s inception workshop of our new project An integrated landscape approach to enhancing the climate resilience of small-scale farmers and pastoralists in Tajikistan for US$ 9. 2 mln. funded by the Adaptation Fund is one such effort. The project will address the immediate challenges and longer-term risks to sustainable development posed by climate-induced hazards to the most vulnerable people in Kafirnighan river basin, one of the most vulnerable areas to climatic variabilities.
The project will be implemented by the Committee for Environmental Protection of the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan in close collaboration with the Ministry of Energy and Water Resources, Ministry of Agriculture, Agency for Land Reclamation and Irrigation, and local authorities in target districts, namely Vakhdat, Faizobod and Varzob in the north; and Nosiri Khusrav, Kabodiyon and Shaartuz in the south.
I am pleased to note, that the project is a result of our successful collaboration with the Committee for Environmental Protection within the overall framework of UNDP project on “Facilitating Climate Resilience in Tajikistan” funded by the Government of the Russian Federation, that provided funding to help design the project to access funds from vertical climate financing mechanisms.
I hope that the project will benefit small farmers in building climate resilient practices and thus contributing to net zero emissions in Tajikistan. In conclusion, let me take this opportunity to thank the Committee for Environmental Protection under the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan for partnership and collaboration in building sustainable and resilient development pathways for Tajikistan.