i. Climate change context
Tajikistan is prone to various natural disasters, including avalanches, droughts, earthquakes, floods, heavy snowfalls, landslides, and mudflows. According to data from the Committee for Emergency Situations of Civil Defense, in the period between 1997 and 2018, approximately 3,460 natural disasters occurred in the Republic. That is, one natural disaster occurred every two days on average. Furthermore, 90% of all energy in Tajikistan comes from glacier-fed hydropower. Despite this high share of renewable energy generation, Tajikistan faces acute power shortages against the background of its growing economy and population. With melting glaciers, power shortages will become more severe, and additional water shortages will occur.
The Government of Tajikistan states in the 2020 National Strategy for Education Development that the country ranks highest among the countries of Europe and Central Asia in terms of vulnerability to climate change. This is due to the current and expected impact of climate change, the country’s limited natural disaster risk management capacity as stated in the National Development Strategy (2016), and its low potential for adaptation at the local level, including in relation to quality of life, education, and income diversification (National Communication, 2014).
According to the Global Carbon Atlas, Tajikistan is a low emitting country, with emissions of approximately 1.0tCO2 per person each year. Tajikistan’s contribution to global greenhouse gas emissions is less than 0.02%. Agriculture is currently responsible for the most significant proportion of the country's greenhouse gas emissions (notably methane), with the energy sector close behind.
Tajikistan's 2017 Nationally Determined Contributions predicts that climate change will likely aggravate conflicts over water resources due to the high levels of water interdependence in Central Asia. For instance, a border conflict in early 2021 between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan was sparked by a water dispute, resulting in the deaths of at least 55 people and the displacement of more than 40,000 civilians.
Tajikistan signed and ratified the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 1998 as a Non-Annex I (or non-industrialized) country. The country also signed and ratified the Kyoto Protocol in 2008 and the Paris Climate Agreement in 2016/2017. Tajikistan did not accept the Doha Amendment.
ii. Relevant government agencies
The Government of Tajikistan’s Committee on Environmental Protection holds primary responsibility for protecting Tajikistan’s environment. This executive body is responsible for developing and implementing environmental policy, environmental impact assessments, data processing, and compliance with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) commitments. The Committee comprises several service departments including the State Administration for Hydrometeorology, which coordinates climate change-related issues in Tajikistan. Currently, Tajikistan's Centre on Climate Change, which operates under the State Administration for Hydrometeorology, is the Action for Climate Empowerment (ACE) Focal Point.
Another important actor is the Ministry of Energy and Water Resources, which formulates and carries out environmental policies in the areas of fuel, energy, and water resources. The Ministry is the authorized body for implementing functions related to the Clean Development Mechanism of the Kyoto Protocol and for reporting to the UNFCCC.
Other relevant ministries are the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, which is responsible for designing and implementing strategies for sustainable development, and the Ministry of Industry and New Technologies, which is in charge of investment projects that use modern energy-saving technologies and green products.
The National Strategy for Adaptation to Climate Change (2019) mentions other key agents, including the Committee for Emergency Situations and Civil Defense and the Department of Public Health and Social Welfare; however, their contributions to the country’s climate change response were unclear at the time of this review.
Education and communication
The Ministry of Education and Science is a crucial executive body responsible for implementing a unified state policy and regulating legal requirements in education, science, teaching, research, and development. The Ministry houses four Deputy Ministers who are responsible for the Department of Preschool Education and Early Childhood Development, the Department of Preschool and General Secondary Education, the Department of Primary and Secondary Vocational Education, and the Department Higher Professional and Postgraduate Education. The Ministry of Education and Science cooperates with environmental non-governmental organizations to develop and implement climate change programs in schools and higher education institutions.
iii. Laws, policies, and plans
Article 38 of Tajikistan’s fundamental law, the Constitution of the Republic of Tajikistan (adopted in 1994 and last amended in 2003), says: “The state shall take measures aimed at protecting the environment.” All subsequent environmental laws and policies in Tajikistan are based on that sentence.
The Government of Tajikistan has adopted more than 30 environmental laws and by-laws and developed more than 10 state programs and action plans to address global and local environmental challenges, according to the National Communication (2014). One of those programs is the 2009 State Ecological Program of the Republic of Tajikistan for 2009-2019, which aims to ensure the rational use of natural resources; maintain the optimal condition of lands, forests, water resources, and air; and protect rare and endangered species of flora and fauna.
The 2016 National Development Strategy provides an overview of the country’s climate-related plans and aspirations for the period up to 2030. In particular, the Strategy outlines the country’s intentions to build capacity in natural disaster forecasting, preparedness, and mitigation, alongside the “development and implementation of effective regional environmental policies, which will focus on reducing anthropogenic impacts on the environment” (p. 41).
In 2018, Tajikistan adopted a National Strategy on Disaster Risk Reduction, which also references adaptation to climate change hazards. The policy aims to strengthen the institutional and legal framework of the national disaster risk management system; assessment and management of disaster risks; emergency preparedness and response; as well as awareness and education of the country’s population.
For Tajikistan, the priority of climate measures lies in adaptation, rather than mitigation, as a considerable part of the population and the economy are highly dependent on climate conditions. This emerges in the 2019 National Strategy for Adaptation to Climate Change, which has the aim of increasing the adaptability of Tajikistan’s economy to include a more comprehensive and dynamic approach to sustainable development, with consideration to medium and long-term climate forecasts. The Strategy describes the adverse impacts of climate change on agriculture, land tenure, and food security, and lists adaptation options such as establishing more effective water management practices, increasing crop diversity, and implementing local knowledge and practice systems. Furthermore, the Strategy highlights the negative direct and indirect impacts of climate change on education. For example, the document discusses the destruction of schools and related infrastructure through extreme weather events and the need for children to support their families after extreme weather events by looking for water or firewood and caring for siblings or the elderly.
Education and communication
In general, climate change is not included in educational laws and policies in Tajikistan. Climate change is neither mentioned in the 2010 Law on Environmental Education, nor in the 2013 Law on Education. Similarly, central educational policies such as the 1996 State Program of Environmental Education and Training, the 2015 State Comprehensive Program for the Development of Environmental Education of the Population of the Republic of Tajikistan until 2020, and the 2020 National Strategy for Education Development do not mention climate change. Therefore, Tajikistan’s formal education system does not explicitly include climate change education. However, Tajikistan does have several laws and state programs focusing on environmental education in general. Tajikistan’s 2013 Law on Education applies to all educational institutions in the country, and according to Article 4, “The state policy in the field of education is based on the following principles: love for the homeland, family and the environment.”
The 1st State Program of Environmental Education and Training was published in 1996 by the Committee of Environmental Protection and introduces environmental education into the education system. The Program gives explicit instructions on which environmental curricular subjects should be taught in which grades within national education institutions. It also obligates the mass media to promptly inform the population of environmental issues via radio, television, textbooks, and other print media. These expectations were made legally binding in 2010 when Tajikistan adopted the Law on Environmental Education with the purpose of making environmental education compulsory at all levels of the education system.
According to the 2012 2nd Environmental Performance Review by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), Tajikistan’s 1996 State Program on Environmental Education likely had little or no effect on Tajikistan’s education system, as it was not yet fully implemented due to inadequate funding and lack of integration with other state strategies or programs.
In 2014, Tajikistan’s 3rd National Communication to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) reports that public schools and universities did not offer any programs on climate change issues and did not pay enough attention to environmental education in general. Therefore, the government enacted the State Comprehensive Program for the Development of Environmental Education and Education of the Population of the Republic of Tajikistan until 2020, combined with an additional action plan, in 2015. The Program’s overarching aim is to ensure that every citizen of Tajikistan acquires general environmental knowledge. The Program’s purpose is to improve the country’s state environmental education policy and ensure environmental education and training are included in state, sectoral, and local programs. However, the Program does not specifically address climate change.
According to the 2019 National Strategy for Adaptation to Climate Change, climate change is not yet included in school curricula, despite environmental education being compulsory at all levels of the education system per the Law on Environmental Education. The country does not yet have a National Curriculum Framework to set nationwide standards for formal education in schools and universities.
In August 2020, an interdepartmental working group met to draft the new Comprehensive State Program for the Development of Environmental Education of the Population of the Republic of Tajikistan for 2021-2025, which is yet to be published. It is unclear whether climate change will be included in this new state Program.
iv. Terminology used for climate change communication and education
The main terminology used for both environmental and climate change-related education in Tajikistan's laws, policy papers, and state programs is 'экологическое образование,' which translates to 'environmental education.' This review did not find more specific terminology for climate change education, which makes it difficult to define whether and to what extent climate change is considered in environmental education in Tajikistan.
The 2019 National Strategy for Adaptation to Climate Change states that “climate change is not considered in environmental education laws and policies […] and not included in curricula” (p. 66). Yet, the Strategy highlights the urgency and need for climate change education and public awareness, indicating that change is coming. The Strategy uses the term “education on the environment and climate change” (p. 66).
Tajikistan's 2010 Law on Environmental Education, Article 1 addresses environmental education through a holistic approach, with cognitive, socio-emotional, and behavioral learning dimensions: “Environmental education is a learning process, the purpose of which is to obtain environmental knowledge, […] to develop ecological culture, […] and to manifest correct behavior in the field of nature protection and nature management.”
Since 1996, Tajikistan has used the terminology and multi-dimensional understanding of ‘environmental education.’ For instance, the 1996 State Program of Environmental Education and Training focuses on ‘environmental education’ and includes concepts that relate to the three learning dimensions. These foci are also reflected in other policies, such as the 2015 State Comprehensive Program for the Development of Environmental Education (2015-2020), the 2020 National Strategy for Education Development, and even brought forward to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Secretariat in the country's 2014 3rd National Communication. However, these documents do not include specific terminology related to climate change education.
v. Budget for climate change education and communication
According to the World Bank, Tajikistan spent around 16.4% of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on education in 2015. However, there are no specific allocations to track how much is spent on climate change communication and education.
From 2011 to 2016, Tajikistan participated in the international Pilot Programme for Climate Resilience of the Climate Investment Funds. It received a US$47.8 million grant to strengthen critical sectors most at risk, including agriculture, water resources, and energy. More precisely, investments made through Tajikistan's Pilot Program for Climate Resilience focused on climate-proofing key water management and hydroelectric infrastructure, land management measures to enhance resilience to climate-related shocks, provision of hydrometeorological services, as well as efforts to raise public awareness. Unfortunately, information was not publicly available at the time of data collection to indicate how much of the grant was assigned to increasing public awareness.
i. Climate change in pre-primary, primary, and secondary education
In general, climate change is not included in pre-primary, primary, and secondary education in Tajikistan. However, environmental education is compulsory at all educational institutions in accordance with the 2010 Law on Environmental Education.
In pre-primary education, the Law of Preschool Education and Upbringing states that education of preschool children be conducted “in the spirit of a conscious attitude towards the environment and its protection” (Article 3, 2013).
According to the State Comprehensive Program for the Development of Environmental Education (2015), public educational institutions (grades 1-11) should teach subjects such as Ecology, Botany, Zoology, General Biology, Genetics, and Geography. Students also participate in high-quality excursions to specially protected natural areas where they learn practical skills for assessing the ecological state of the local environment. The Program notes Tajikistan’s intention to hold national environmental Olympiads, scientific and practical conferences, and competitive events to foster the engagement of school children in environmental education. Yet, climate change is not specifically mentioned.
According to the 2017 3rd Environmental Performance Review by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), implemented activities have been limited to environmental drawing contests in preschools and primary schools, held annually before the World Environmental Day. According to a government press release, different educational institutions held 16 workshops and 5 contests on environmental topics in 2019, in which schoolchildren played an active part. The Review also notes that a Natural History subject has been introduced in primary school and that Ecology, Environmental and Social Geography, and Nature and Natural Resources subjects have been incorporated into the grade 9 and 10 curricula. However, whether climate change is included in these school subjects is not noted.
The 2014 National Communication reports that public schools in Tajikistan generally do not offer programs on climate change issues, and mentions that climate change issues are usually not included in secondary school curricula. Therefore, lectures and practical sessions for school children on the topic are rare at this level, partly due to the relatively small number of schools and teachers specializing in natural sciences. As a result, “the level and quality of climate change education, knowledge, and awareness […] does not meet any current international standards and requires continuous improvement. Despite significant progress, knowledge and understanding of climate change issues remain limited” (2014, p. 23).
Similarly, the 2019 National Strategy for Adaptation to Climate Change raises concern at the lack of education and awareness on climate change issues in Tajikistan.
Future environmental education plans are currently being formulated in the yet-to-be-published State Program of Environmental Education and Training for 2021-2025, creating a possibility that climate change education may be more effectively integrated.
ii. Climate change in teacher training and teacher resources
The Government of Tajikistan is cooperating with higher education institutions and national non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to introduce environmental and climate change topics into teacher training. State measures related to pre-service and in-service teacher training are listed in the 2015 State Comprehensive Programme for the Development of Environmental Education and the corresponding action plan. To increase the quality and quantity of environmental education, the Program states that advanced training and retraining courses for teachers in the field of environmental education would be conducted, organized by the Committee on Environmental Protection under the Government of Tajikistan.
Further plans in the State Comprehensive Program include increasing communication and discussion opportunities regarding climate change education between teachers of all educational levels. The Program includes plans to offer exchange platforms, such as scientific conferences, round tables, and seminars on environmental education between regions for teachers of preschool and public educational institutions. Moreover, the Program includes plans to construct a database of educator experiences with additional training in environmental education at the national, regional, city, and district levels. Furthermore, the Program outlines plans to improve future teacher education by enriching the curricula of pedagogical universities with environmental disciplines and didactical methods for environmental education. Unfortunately, no information was available on whether the plans outlined above have been implemented at the time of this review.
According to the 2017 3rd Environmental Performance Review, some of the plans outlined in the State Comprehensive Program were implemented in cooperation with national NGOs, especially Маленькая Земля (Little Earth). For example, during the 2013-2014 academic year, Little Earth and the Dushanbe Professional Development Centre for Teachers organized seminars and workshops on environmental education, energy-saving, and climate change for Biology and Ecology teachers at national centers for teacher retraining. In 2015, Little Earth conducted a teacher workshop on environmental education in collaboration with the Committee on Environmental Protection. Most recently, in April 2019, the Committee on Environmental Protection organized a teacher training seminar in Gulistan, which was attended by science teachers of the Khujand State University. The seminar aimed to inform participants about “the role of the President of the Republic of Tajikistan, Mr. Emomali Rahmon in food security, the prevention of land pollution, land reclamation and other issues of land use and environmental protection” (p. 1).
The Youth Ecological Centre, a public organization supported by the state, provides books and guidelines on different themes such as 'Interesting Environment' (2007), 'Climate Change Adaptation' (2010), and 'Everything about Climate Change' (2011), focused on the learning needs of school children and students. Another 'green package' of training materials for students, developed by the Research Program on Climate Change Adaptation, was approved and distributed by the Ministry of Education and Science in 2011.
According to the 2014 National Communication, NGOs such as the Youth Ecological Centre and the Research Program on Climate Change Adaptation deliver training modules on climate change targeted to teachers from secondary schools and lecturers in higher education.
iii. Climate change in higher education
There is little being done in Tajikistan’s higher education sector to integrate climate change education. The 2019 National Strategy for Adaptation to Climate Change criticizes the “lack of a programme on tackling climate change in universities and after school throughout the country” (p. 66). However, much more has been achieved in environmental education more broadly.
According to the 2015 State Comprehensive Program for the Development of Environmental Education, environmental subjects have been introduced at higher education institutions including universities, lyceums, and colleges. For example, the Tajik National University trains specialists in Ecology, Biology, Chemistry, and Geology. Furthermore, the Tajik National University provides the core course General Ecology for students of 18 faculties, “to develop an understanding of environmental protection, specially protected areas, nature use, and environmental law” (3rd Environmental Performance Review, 2017, p. 83). The Tajik Technical University runs a program on life safety and methods for developing environmental impact standards. The Tajik Technical University also provides training in the specialty area of Environmental Engineering. The Tajik State Pedagogical University trains teachers of Geography, Ecology, Chemistry, and Biology. These Programs were largely introduced following the 2010 Law on Environmental Education, which specifically mentions that environmental education should include the higher professional and postgraduate education systems in Article 8.
However, the extent to which climate change is explicitly covered in environmental courses at higher education institutions remains unclear at the time of data collection. The 2014 National Communication to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) draws a similar picture of climate change education in higher education as seen in schools: “Universities in Tajikistan do not pay enough attention to environmental education and generally do not offer programs on climate change issues” (p. 13).
Some higher education climate change-related projects have taken place in the past. In 2005, the Ministry of Education and Science approved a new textbook for university students called 'Environment for Future Generations', which includes sections on climate change and its consequences. It was developed with the involvement of the Central Asia Regional Ecological Centre. Furthermore, a series of lectures on human adaptation to climate change and the medical aspects of climate change were delivered at the Tajik Medical University in Dushanbe between 2000 and 2012. According to the National Communication (2014), a training module on sustainable development was introduced into the curriculum of several leading institutes of higher education in 2011.
The 2015 State Comprehensive Programme for the Development of Environmental Education outlines a goal for higher education to train highly qualified specialists with deep scientific knowledge about the foundations of sustainable development and the rights and obligations of citizens concerning the natural environment. Another goal is the “psychological and pedagogical preparation of students for environmental education and enlightenment of the widest strata of the population” (p. 11). The accompanying action plan lists 13 implementation measures to increase environmental education in higher education, including creating an interdepartmental scientific laboratory of environmental education at Tajik Technical University and establishing student scientific and practical conferences, seminars, and Olympiads in ecology and environmental education. Another critical measure is the development of foundational environmental training courses, like 'Nature Protection,' 'Fundamentals of Ecology,' and 'Problems of Sustainable Development,’ which are directed towards all students, including those not specializing in environmental sciences.
The 2016 National Development Strategy sets an ambitious goal to increase the number of higher education graduates by 30% by 2030, particularly the number of graduates with engineering, technical, and natural sciences backgrounds. In addition, the Strategy states that research work on biodiversity, climate change adaptation, mountain ecosystem resilience, environmentally friendly technologies, and sustainable development should be intensified.
iv. Climate change in training and adult learning
In Tajikistan, the government, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and other agencies make efforts to provide climate change training to adult learners, and several projects have been implemented so far. The legal basis of past and future endeavors is the Law on Environmental Education, adopted in 2010. Article 3 states the Law’s purpose is the “coverage of citizens and society with general environmental knowledge” (p. 1), which goes beyond formal education. The Law further highlights the “participation of public organizations and citizens in the implementation of state policy in the field of environmental education” (p. 1).
One such state-level policy is the 2015 State Comprehensive Programme for the Development of Environmental Education, which sets the goal of providing basic knowledge in the fields of ecology, environmental law, and environmental management to civil servants, industry leaders, and other decision-makers at state and local levels. The Program’s action plan notes that vocational training for adults needs to be developed in environmental management, insurance, licensing, environmental auditing, monitoring, environmental certification, expertise, safety, and modern environmental and resource-saving technologies. In order to provide this training, the Program calls for the implementation of a distance learning system with didactic materials; teaching aids; thematic modules; and textbooks in ecology, nature protection, and environmental safety. It is important to note that the period of the Program was 2015 to 2020 and it was unclear how many of these actions had been implemented at the time of this review.
Between 2016 and 2021, Tajikistan was part of the international project Climate Adaptation and Mitigation Program for Aral Sea Basin, funded by the World Bank and the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea. Over the project’s five years, US$9 million worth of climate investments were made in agriculture and land resource management. The project also included components aimed at “enhancing the knowledge database and climate change capacities and facilitat[ing] regional dialogue and cooperation between many stakeholders to ensure efficient climate response by scale” (n.p), which were jointly coordinated by the Regional Environmental Centre for Central Asia and the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan.
NGOs and other initiatives and organizations also play a significant role in providing training and raising public awareness in relation to climate change in Tajikistan. For example, the Youth Ecological Centre and Act Central Asia have jointly created four centers on climate change adaptation. These centers teach local communities about greenhouse construction, solar panel installation, energy-efficient stoves, plant protection methods, drought-resistant crops, and alternative energy sources. According to the Youth Ecological Centre, more than 300 farmers have received training in adaptation measures, and more than 3,000 households have benefited from adaptation activities.
The Youth Ecological Centre has implemented further climate change adaptation projects in rural areas of southern Tajikistan, especially in the most vulnerable communities. Local action plans follow a participatory approach and have been implemented in the Shaartuz, Kabodiyan, Nosir Khusrav, and Gissar districts. As a result, more than 200 homes have been heat-insulated, 100 energy-efficient stoves have been installed, the condition of arable lands has improved, and reliable water access provided. Moreover, 15 solar greenhouses, 30 greenhouses, and nurseries for 20 thousand saplings were created, and solar photovoltaic panels were installed in health institutions, according to the National Communication (2014).
i. Climate change and public awareness
In Tajikistan the government and several NGOs are making efforts to improve the currently low level of public awareness of climate change. The 2019 National Strategy for Adaptation to Climate Change states that:
Awareness-raising plays an essential role in enhancing the adaptive capacity of communities to climate change, as it enables people to undertake proactive planning to reduce and adapt to climate risks. There is still a lot to be done in Tajikistan to raise awareness of climate change through educational programs and training. (p. 34)
In recent years, several state measures have been implemented to raise public awareness of environmental issues, including climate change. For example, information campaigns have been carried out to raise awareness among young people and have included the use of videos and games, as a part of large climate change adaptation projects. Many projects implemented by international organizations that have aimed to develop environmental awareness in Tajikistan have tended to focus particularly on farmers suffering from the effects of climate change. For instance, part of the German Society for International Cooperation’s environmental projects involved local farmers from Rasht organizing field schools to train local residents in sustainable farming practices. In addition, official documents, popular scientific books, and other materials are posted on the state administration for hydrometeorology website.
The Committee on Environmental Protection has at times issued information bulletins, journals, newspapers, and materials covering environmental topics. The Committee also offers climate change seminars and training for specialists and school children. For example, environmental summer camps for school children offer training in assembling solar cookers and solar water heaters. Attendees also participate in interactive climate change-related debates.
Despite these actions, the overall level of awareness and understanding of climate change is low in Tajikistan relative to many other countries. According to the 2014 National Communication, awareness varies greatly from region to region. An analysis in the National Communication shows that residents of Dushanbe city and the Soughd and Khatlon oblasts are better informed than the residents of the country’s rural central mountain districts. However, the National Communication also states that significant progress has been made to increase mass media coverage, and therefore public awareness, of climate change-related issues. It outlines the results of a survey conducted in 2004, where only 10% of survey respondents were aware of climate change issues; by contrast, a survey conducted ten years later in 2014, found the level of awareness ranged between 40-80%, depending on location, age, and occupation.
In Tajikistan, most climate change awareness-raising activities are implemented by international organizations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). One active agency is the Tajik NGOs Climate Change Network, formed in 2008, which is a joint initiative of the Youth Ecological Centre, Маленькая Земля (Little Earth), and other NGOs. TajNC is an advocate for climate change-related interests of civil society at the policy level and provides a platform for information exchange and environmental dialogue. Further, it hosts debates and discussions on climate change issues and carries out round tables and conferences.
The 2014 National Communication outlines several potential actions for NGOs to improve awareness-raising in the future. For example, the National Communication recommends NGOs to go beyond current practice and develop more active forms of public participation, such as public monitoring and the use of local expertise. Additionally, the National Communication calls for NGOs to better coordinate their activities with one another and to increase efforts to attract international funding.
ii. Climate change and public access to information
In Tajikistan, the right to access environmental information is guaranteed by the 2011 Law on Environmental Information. Article 4 says: “Individuals and legal entities are guaranteed the right to free access to environmental information […] without the need to explain the reasons for their interest in obtaining environmental information” (p. 2).
The public has several options to access information on climate change. For instance, official climate change information is available on the Government of Tajikistan’s Committee on Environmental Protection website. The state administration for hydrometeorology website shows the weather forecast for all regions in Tajikistan, including the level of air pollution and warnings of extreme weather events.
The websites of nongovernmental initiatives, such as the Маленькая Земля (Little Earth) and the Youth Ecological Centre, also act as additional sources of information on climate change. For example, they provide global and local news on climate change, as well as information on regional climate change-related projects and initiatives.
To further disseminate environmental knowledge among the population, the 2015 State Comprehensive Program for Environmental Education aims to increase the role of mass media “in the greening of public consciousness” (p. 13). The Program suggests creating television and radio programs, visual teaching aids, audio, and short films on environmental education. Unfortunately, no further information is available on whether these plans have been implemented.
iii. Climate change and public participation
According to Tajikistan’s 2014 National Communication, public participation in climate-related programs and projects is very limited at present. In general, the government seems to prioritize raising public awareness, rather than public participation. Neither the State Ecological Program (2009), the National Development Strategy (2016), the Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (2017), nor the National Strategy for Adaptation to Climate Change (2019) include plans or strategies to increase public participation in climate change-related decision-making. However, according to Paragraph 1 of Article 13 of the Law on Environmental Education (2010), public organizations and citizens have the right to prepare proposals for the improvement and implementation of state policy in the field of environmental education.
According to the National Communication (2014), the main challenges to increasing public participation in government climate policy-making are a lack of understanding of current environmental policy by NGOs, as well as the lack of understanding of the benefits and importance of joint efforts in promoting public interest.
Some NGOs in Tajikistan, however, are working to foster greater public participation in the decision-making processes of climate-related programs and projects. For instance, the Youth Ecological Centre has utilized a participatory approach to develop local climate change adaptation plans in several rural districts. More broadly, the Tajik NGOs Climate Change Network consists of more than 70 members representing public organizations, NGOs, and scientific institutions, which demonstrates a level of public interest and participation in these issues.
i. Country monitoring
The government authority mandated to track climate change communication and education in Tajikistan is the Government of Tajikistan’s Committee on Environmental Protection.
The Statistical Agency under the President of the Republic of Tajikistan does not seem to collect data on climate change communication and education.
Since the adoption of the State Comprehensive Program for Development of Environmental Education in 2015, the executive state bodies of all regions, cities, and districts in Tajikistan have been required to report on the implementation of the Program to the Committee on Environmental Protection annually. The local status reports are summarized by the Committee, which then forwards them to the Government of Tajikistan. The State Comprehensive Program also mentions the development of a methodology for monitoring and assessing public environmental awareness, scheduled for 2015 and 2016. Unfortunately, no further information on the current status of these state efforts on climate change communication and education monitoring could be found at the time of data collection.
ii. MECCE Project Monitoring
There is currently no MECCE Project data available for Tajikistan.
This section will be updated as the MECCE Project develops.