Overview of SCP in Central Asia
Countries in Central Asia are at different stages in terms of awareness raising and policies directed towards shifting to SCP. Most of SCP related activities have been conducted and implemented by UN Environment (UNEP) and the Secretariat of 10 Year Framework of Programs on SCP (10 YFP). The first regional meeting on SCP for Central Asian countries was organised by UNEP and the Secretariat of 10YFP in Almaty, Kazakhstan, in November 2015. During the Workshop, challenges and opportunities were discussed together with priority areas for the implementation of SCP policies and tools. Among the regional priorities, sustainable building and construction, sustainable public procurement and sustainable food systems were highlighted. Main regional challenges traced the link between poor management of water and energy resources and the significant impact this has on food supply and security, ecosystem services and biodiversity conservation. A second meeting for Central Asia and East European countries was held in Romania in 2016. Moreover, the Secretariat of 10YFP started a regional project on Sustainable Public Procurement for three Central Asia countries – Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan. Regional structures such as the Inter-state Commission on Sustainable Development (ICSD) and the Central Asia Regional Environmental Center (CAREC) play important roles in promoting SCP at regional and national levels, as well as providing the framework for capacity building to deliver needed changes. Among other organisations, the EU, UNDP, UNEP, UNIDO, UN ESCAP, ADB and the World Bank support activities related to SCP. In this context, the extension of the SWITCH-Asia programme to Central Asia will build on and scale up relevant actions through synergies and partnerships. EU SWITCH-Asia Launch Event in Central Asia was held on 5-th of July 2019 in Bishkek. This event was co-organised by the SWITCH-Asia SCP Facility, the European Commission, Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development (DG DEVCO) and concerned European Union Delegations.
Tajikistan National Context for SCP
The Government of the Republic of Tajikistan has adopted more than 30 laws and by-laws in the field of environmental protection, environmental education, alternative energy sources, drinking water and water supply, as well as environmental monitoring, which include SCP, developed more than 10 state programs and action plans. Tajikistan has various ministries dealing with SCP issues: the Ministry of Energy and Water Resources, the Ministry of Economic Development, the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Industry and New Technologies, and the State Committees for Construction and Investment. The existing frameworks and measures related to SCP include: the Medium Term Development Program for 2021-2025 to implement the second stage of the National Strategy of the Republic of Tajikistan until 2030, which was adopted by the Decision of the Machlisi Namoyandagon Machlis Oli of the Republic of Tajikistan dated December 1, 2016, No. 636. The latter includes commitments to the SDGs and the legal framework for a number of topics related to SCP. The President of the country Emomali Rahmon noted that "We need to seriously approach the issues of protecting the environment, flora and fauna, the ecological situation, and to this end, review and improve legislation in this area and increase environmental awareness of the population." In this context, within the framework of the SWITCH-Asia SCP Facility project, the National Action Plan of the Republic of Tajikistan on responsible consumption and sustainable lifestyles has been developed in support to the implementation of a circular (closed) economy with a focus on the agri-food sector.
There are various constraints to the implementation of the above mentioned policies and relevant SCP tools. There is no information on the implementation of measures of State programmes and activities related to SCP. Adequate technical assistance is necessary for the adoption of energy-saving and environmentally-friendly technologies. Adequate technical assistance is needed to introduce energy saving and environmentally friendly technologies, mainstreaming SCP into national policies to promote the implementation of green economy strategies/concepts; raising awareness among all stakeholders through outreach; promoting best practices to ensure sustainable improvement of SCP models in the future; building the capacity of civil servants and other key stakeholders; enhancing dialogue on local and regional SCP priorities; promoting the adoption of cleaner technologies and practices - especially by MSMEs.
The main directions for increasing the sustainability of the macroeconomic, socio-economic and political spheres for the implementation of SCP practices are: maintaining stability and improving public administration; improving data sharing and user access to key information on SCP practices; development of the real sector of the economy based on modernization and diversification; support for the private sector, improvement of the investment climate and development of transport; ensuring effective social protection of the population, maintaining stability in the labour market and developing human capital; ensuring the wide availability and good quality of education and health care; ensuring the participation of all stakeholders in the process of planning and implementing measures to introduce SCP practices; improving water and food security; meeting the demand for fuel and energy resources, achieving energy independence and improving energy security. The implementation of the principles of the "green" economy and, accordingly, the creation of "green" jobs should become a strategic priority.
Consumer information tools seek to guide consumers to make more sustainable choices about goods and services (products), including in their use and end of life phase. Tools can take many forms, including certifications, voluntary standards, product declarations, ratings, marketing claims, foot printing, life-cycle assessments, product campaigns in store or on social media, and other ways of communicating with consumers on environmental and social issues connected to products (for instance through product design). Consumer information tools can be an important mechanism to increase understanding of climate change, to educate consumers on low-carbon and recyclable products and services and to show the linkage between environmental degradation and consumption behaviour. Additional educational efforts are needed to increase the awareness on impact from agri-food/food systems to the environment.
Tajikistan has a great potential for organic agriculture. One important issue is the introduction of green technologies and green infrastructure in agricultural production and the introduction of the principles of green trade. Another relevant aspect is increasing the production and processing level of environmentally friendly (organic) agricultural products.
The important role of civil society in strengthening ecological education, creating networks, local ecological management, and in managing the coalition for Transparency of Extracting Industries is being recognised. Civil society is also expected to assist in the development of green economy concepts, proposals, events and activities.
- The President has recently announced a new initiative, the international decade of action on “Water for Sustainable Development 2018-2028” and a rational use of trans-boundary fresh water resources in the Central Asian region.
- The “Strategy for Development until 2030” was adopted.
- The Ministry of Health and Social Protection of Population has initiated the implementation of GHS (globally harmonized system) of classification and labelling of chemicals to minimise their impact on the environment and people’s health.
- The Draft Concept of the "Green" Economy is ready.
- The Concept of the Digital Economy was approved by the Decree of the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan dated December 30, 2019, No. 642.
- The Strategy for the Development of Tourism in Tajikistan until 2030 dated August 1, 2018 No. 372 was adopted.
- The Strategy for the Development of Industry in the Republic of Tajikistan for the period up to 2030 was adopted;
- The Program for the Development of the Food Industry of the Republic of Tajikistan for 2020-2025 was adopted;
- The Program of Accelerated Industrialization of the Republic of Tajikistan for 2020-2025 was adopted;
- The Food Safety Program of the Republic of Tajikistan for 2019-2023 was adopted;
- The Food Security Program of the Republic of Tajikistan for 2020-2024 was adopted;
Preliminary Needs Assessment
Better understanding of the benefits of SCP; mainstreaming SCP in existing relevant policies and action plans; delivering appropriate capacity building on SCP policy development and related SCP tools; raising awareness among all stakeholders on the necessity to promote SCP.