Tajik President voices int'l initiative for protection of glaciers
For the first time in 2009, President of the Republic of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon has first proposed on the need to create a special international fund for the protection of glaciers from the rostrum of the International Conference on Climate Change in Copenhagen.
According to the President of Tajikistan Glaciers are the main source of clean water and their rapid melting, along with increased water consumption associated with population growth and economic development, could have far-reaching consequence.
In this regard, it should be noticеd that on March 3, 2021, while delivering his speech at the first online meeting of the high-level Panel on Water and Climate, the President of the Republic of Tajikistan proposed to declare 2025 the International Year of Glacier Protection and set the date for World Glacier Day.
“If in the sixties water supply per capita in Central Asia was more than 8,000 cubic meters per year, today this figure has decreased more than four times and is a little more than 2,000 cubic meters per year. Unfortunately, the melting of glaciers in the Arctic and Antarctic has led to a rise in sea levels. This, in turn, can threaten the life and well-being of hundreds of millions of people on Earth, especially on small islands and coastal areas,” said President Emomali Rahmon.
He also noted that this burning issue should be in the center of attention of the world community, and especially political leaders.
The President of Tajikistan noted that climate change is adjusting our daily life, primarily through the impact on water resources. One of the main indicators of this process is the intense melting of glaciers due to global warming.
Unfortunately, we observe accelerated ice melting in various parts of the planet - in the Arctic, Antarctica and Greenland.
The melting of the world's largest continental glacier in Tajikistan is a vivid example. I mean the Fedchenko Glacier with more than seventy-five (75) kilometers of length.
Studies show that in the last seventy-eighty (70-80) years alone, the Fedchenko Glacier retreated by more than 1 km, and has decreased by 44km2. Moreover, it has lost more than 15km3 in volume, and the glacier tongue has been retreating by 16m per year.
Emomali Rahmon also recalled once again about Tajikistan’s proposal to create a special International Fund for Glaciers, which could mobilize financial resources from various sources to take the necessary actions and implement objectives in this area.
He expressed conviction that these and other related initiatives would give impetus to a new global movement to take the necessary collective action and to protect glaciers from intense melting and disappearance. These initiatives organically fit into the mainstream of the measures currently taken by the world community within the framework of the Paris Agreement to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and prevent the global temperature from rising above two degrees Celsius (2.0 ° C).
During his speech stressed Republic of Tajikistan has abundant water resources. The country forms about sixty (60) percent of the water resources of Central Asia. The main source of these waters is the region's glacial resources.
In the twentieth (20) century, there were more than 14.500 glaciers in Tajikistan covering 8 percent of the country’s total territory. Unfortunately, due to the climate change impact, these glaciers began to melt intensively. Today, more than 1,000 glaciers of Tajikistan have completely melted. The volume of the mass of the country's glaciers has decreased by almost a third over a relatively short period.
Natural disasters inflict huge damage to Tajikistan's economy and environment every year, undermining our efforts to achieve sustainable development.
It was mentioned that such challenges are typical for other countries of Central Asia as well. That is why, Tajikistan has identified the issue of climate change impact as a top priority in the framework of its presidency of the International Fund for Aral Sea.
Emomali Rahmon stated that Tajikistan will make every effort to draw the attention of the governments across the region and the world community to proactive actions and taking urgent measures to counteract to this challenge.
Moreover, he emphasized that a comprehensive review of water, energy, food security, environment and climate issues harmoniously fits into the 2030 Agenda. convinced that the International Decade for Action "Water for Sustainable Development (2018-2028)” provides a good platform for uniting the efforts of the world community. The belief was expressed that the International Decade for Action "Water for Sustainable Development (2018-2028)” provides a good platform for uniting the efforts of the world community.
The international conference on the mid-term review of this Decade, which will be organized by the UN in two years (2023), can play a key role in integrating water and climate issues, contribute to their comprehensive solution to achieve sustainable development.
Meanwhile, the international conference on the mid-term review of this Decade, which will be organized by the UN in two years (2023), can play a key role in integrating water and climate issues, contribute to their comprehensive solution to achieve sustainable development.
Embassy of the Republic of Tajikistan
in the Republic of Azerbaijan