Reaching Tipping Point? Climate Change and Poverty in Tajikistan

The people of Tajikistan, many already feeling the strains of climate change, will be increasingly afflicted over the next 40 years unless immediate action is taken to mitigate the effects.
Tajikistan‘s glaciers – mainly found in the Pamir Mountains that make up part of the Trans-Himalayan range – are retreating and could lead to greater water shortages and disputes in the wider region in the future.
The painful blow of climate change has been sharply felt in rural areas of Tajikistan in recent years where 1.4 million people are already food insecure. Last summer’s good rains brought some relief to rural communities across Tajikistan that had previously suffered from three consecutive years of drought, failed harvests and one of the harshest winters on record. But the long-term trends are clear – and ominous.

Oxfam’s Key Recommendations:

At a community level:

  • Improve access to water and methods of food storage and preservation. Provide more support and training in agriculture.  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 responses across government departments and into national planning;
  • strengthen disaster risk reduction programs; implement research programs 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 to tackle climate change, which is now overdue.
  • To deliver their fair share of global efforts, rich countries would need to provide $200 billion per year by 2020 to help developing countries adapt and reduce their own emissions.
  • They need to commit to reduce their own emissions to at least 40% below 1990 levels by 2020 to have a decent chance to keep global warming below 2°C.
  • 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.