In Clean Water, Sustainable Environment and Energy, UNDAF promotes the sustainable management of natural resources, promoting environmental protection and development of renewable energy. The UN team supports the government in its efforts to improve the design and implementation of national and trans-national policies and agreements covering management of natural resources; this includes an improved policy framework for management of water resources, from a trans-boundary perspective and at the national and local levels. The UN also helps bring about an increased access to alternative technologies promoting renewable energy and energy efficiency measures including awareness-raising on benefits of energy saving and measures to rationalize energy demand by changing tariff policy. A number of interventions cover land management and soil conservation issues, and promote sustainable land management practices.
Partners and Coordination: The main partners are the Ministry of Land Reclamation and Water Resources (MLRWR), Ministry of Agriculture (MoA), Committee on Environmental Protection (CoEP), State Commission for Emergency Situations (SCES), Committee on Emergency Situations (CoES), REACT partners, local authorities, water user associations, micro-financing institutions, and private sector agents.
The UN Theme Working Group on Clean Water, Sustainable Environment and Energy oversees UNDAF activities and facilitates coordination between partners. The REACT team in Dushanbe and other regions ensures coordination of disaster risk reduction and response initiatives.
Water and energy nexus is at the top of Tajikistan’s development agenda. The issues of access to water and sanitation, as well as water resource management are key development issues which Tajikistan is facing now. As it is widely known, Tajikistan is one of the richest countries of the world on water resources.Despite of abundant water resources more than 40% of population in Tajikistan has no access to safe drinking water, and in many rural areas the provision of drinking water remains an acute problem. Irrigation, with majority of rural population being employed in agriculture, also represents a big challenge for development.
Tajikistan has great hydropower potential. However this hydropower potential of about 300 billion kilowatt-hours remains mostly untapped with only 5% of its potential being used. Today over 95% of Tajikistan’s power generation capacity is based on large hydro power plants, with strong seasonal variations in power production, the lowest occurring during the winter (October – April/May) season when the demand is the highest. Electricity shortages led to tight rationing. During the height of winter, electricity supply of most rural households is usually reduced to only six hours per day, or even cut off completely. Industries experience growing power cuts each winter. The energy deficit not only disrupts social services and infrastructure, but also puts a drain on much-needed resources and creates more pressure on the environment, as rural households cut trees and shrubs to fire their stoves.
Tajikistan is a highly disaster-prone country, vulnerable to natural hazards, such as earthquakes, landslides, floods, avalanches, and extreme weather events. It is also one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change in Central Asia. Considering the impact climate change has on agriculture, this topic is an important consideration in the UNDAF.
Under UNDAF Pillar on Clean Water, Sustainable Environment and Energy, the UN Country Team prioritizes its work on policy advice and research to support the evidence based reformin the water sector, concentrating on enabling environment for coordination and unified approach to policy development and thereby harmonized reform process at the national level, and improved water management, cooperation and conflict mitigation at the regional level.
Environmental issues are closely connected with government activities and interests targeted at poverty reduction and overall economic development. Tajikistan has become one of the pilot countries for the Poverty and Environment Initiative, initiated by UNDP and UNEP. The main focus is on addressing the linkage between poverty and environment in the national development planning process. UNCT, under the leadership of REACT’s team, will continue to facilitate coordination and better cooperation in the field of disaster preparedness and response.
Concerning the Natural Resource Management, the UNCT supported:
the formulation of the Water Sector Reform strategy and IWRM perspectives and the drafting of regulations on the new institutional structure of MLRWR and MIROB;
the development of the Law on Protected Areas and Law on Environmental Education and the revision of Forestry Code integrating community-based natural resource management concepts;
the strengthening of the Protected Areas System through development and introduction of management planning frameworks along with capacity building of the staff (all 18 PAs covered);
the successful integration of poverty – environment linkages into the Livelihood Improvement Strategy and district level planning methodology and piloted in 14 districts;
the development of the UNECE Country Profile on Housing Sector and
the nomination of the Tajik National Park to the UNESCO World Heritage List.
In regards to Access to Energy, and enabling an environment for development of renewable energy and piloting an integrated rural development model, the UNCT has achieved the following results:
The concept of establishment of the National Trust Fund on Renewable Energy Sources and Energy Efficiency was promoted as a new strategy for providing a financial support framework for the use of renewable energy sources and the improvement of end-use energy efficiency.
The Energy Saving Law was revised and an Energy Efficiency Master Plan was developed.
The Integrated Rural Development Model was developed as a scaling up mechanism to provide electricity from mini-hydro stations, to then integrate this with clean water, food, employment, education and health issues. It has been piloted in Jamoat B. Burunov of Vakhdat district.
A Management-Operation-Maintenance scheme for the IRD model is developed and being piloted.
Concerning Disaster Risk Management, the UNCT has been able to achieve the following:
A National Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction was established and an Action Plan for the National Platform was developed;
Risk Monitoring and Early Warning System was integrated into the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade;
IAEA helped equip and train the Institute of Water Problems, Hydropower and Ecology with state-of-the-art water monitoring equipment and training the staff;
The Hydromet staff received UNISDR-organized trainings on collection, processing, analysis and exchange of data, as part of the early warning system for weather-related hazards, in Central Asia.
The REACT Recovery Framework was developed;
The National Recovery Guidance is in the process of development.
Disaster Risk Management: Continuing support in building the capacities of the National Platform for DRR; building local capacities to effectively engage in early recovery coordination, planning and implementation and integration of climate variability into disaster risk assessment frameworks.
Natural Resource Management: Support to the implementation of the Water Sector Reform; support to the International Conference on Water Cooperation, promotion of strategic environmental impact assessment frameworks at the regulatory level; development of the strategic frameworks for agrobiodiversity conservation; building resilience to climatic changes at the local level.
Access to Energy: Technology transfer for small hydropower; support in the implementation of policies, legislation and regulations that improve market conditions for renewable energy; demonstration of sustainable delivery models and financing mechanisms;capacity building on proper management of renewable energy systems (e.g. tariff collection) to strengthen local ownership and sustainability.