Tajikistan’s forests cover less than three percent of its land area, and even that percentage is shrinking. For the rural population of Central Asia’s poorest republic, wood is an important resource for heating and cooking. Especially in the winter, people have too little electricity and resort to burning wood in inefficient ovens and stoves, losing more than two thirds of the energy in the process. This also results in high rates of respiratory ailments, especially among women, because exhaust systems such as chimneys are often missing.
The poor power supply also limits rural tradespeople and workshops to seasonal work unless they run fossil fuel-powered generators at a high cost. Agricultural production in certain regions of Tajikistan has long been substandard. Farmers cultivate their land using methods inherited from large-scale Soviet agriculture and not suited to the currently available soil. Soil depletion and erosion are widespread, and income from agriculture is barely enough for survival.
Energy Efficiency for People and Environment
Welthungerhilfe is working with local and international partners to help the people living in the rural districts of central Tajikistan. Applying new approaches to agriculture and energy supply, it is supporting approximately 32,000 people directly and a further 80,000 indirectly. Rates of respiratory ailments are decreasing markedly, and carbon dioxide emissions are being reduced by around 1,800 tonnes per year.
Improving Agriculture and Energy Supply
Protection for Tajikistan’s Forests
Tajikistan is one of the thirty countries in the world most affected by climate change. As the country's remaining forested areas can be accessed and exploited with few regulations, they are losing two to three times as much wood as naturally regenerates. Government authorities for forestry are not keeping up, and cleared areas are not being reafforested.