Statement by the President of the Republic of Tajikistan
Mr. Emomali Rahmon at the
World Climate Conference - 3
Geneva, September 3, 2009
Excellency Chairman, Your Highness, Your
Excellencies, distinguished participants of the Conference, dear ladies and
climate change is one of the most
critical environmental problems, which affect almost all aspects of life on our
planet. It is known that the main cause of ongoing climate changes is the
increase in greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere. Only for the past few
decades global emissions of greenhouse gases have increased by 70%, and the
concentration of one of the major gases - carbon dioxide has been increased by
almost one and a half times. The main source of greenhouse gas emissions is
energy, due to the basic needs of the world community for energy are met by
burning fossil fuels (oil, gas, coal). This, in turn, accompanies by emission
of billion tons of greenhouse gases, which increased concentrations in the
atmosphere lead to global climate change.
particularly disturbing that the current situation has a tendency of
development. Experts are concerned that climate change will eventually
hamstring all efforts on combating poverty. Thus, according to the data of the
2007 UN Human Development Report, as a result of the global warming about 332
million people, living in coastal areas, will become environmental refugees,
and 1.8 billion people of the globe will face lack of access to potable water.
Tajikistan, with its complicated geographical conditions, is one of the most
vulnerable countries of the Eurasian continent towards ongoing climate change.
Over the past 60 years the average annual temperature has risen up
1оС, number of days with heavy rainfall has increased, natural
meteorological phenomenon have frequented, followed by considerable economic
losses, which, in turn, dramatically reduce capacity of the country in
achieving sustainable development.
I would like to
note that among of more than 200 countries Tajikistan is at 150th place for
the specific share of the carbon dioxide emission – it is in a group of
countries with the lowest volume of greenhouse gas emissions. In Tajikistan greenhouse gas emissions per person
are by an order less than the world average value; and we are the country with
the lowest volume of emissions in the Central Asia.
This is explained, mainly, by the use of hydropower. Over 95% of energy in the
country is produced by hydro power plants, which, unlike thermal power plants,
are not sources of harmful emissions. Alongside with this, it should be
mentioned that a majority part of emissions lie on the share of the most
economically developed countries, but it negatively affects all the people of
the planet. In this circumstance, the issue of victim compensations should be
participants of the conference, as you know, climate change has serious adverse
effects on human health, environment, agriculture, transport infrastructure and
other components of sustainable development. However, the key in this regard is
the impact on water resources that are most vulnerable to ongoing climate
The problem is
particularly acute in the Central Asia, where
water is not only the basis of socio-economic development, but the most
important element of national and regional security. Results of some studies
show that in the period from 1956 to 1990 the glacial resources of Central Asia have declined by more than three times and
continue to reduce. According to the modest estimates, the glaciers of Tajikistan,
being the main source of the rivers of the Central Asian region, in XXth century have lost more than a third of their volume.
If current tendency will be kept, it is estimated that in Tajikistan thousands glaciers will
account the essential socio-economic importance of water resources, it is
necessary already today to take urgent measures to preserve the glaciers and
snowfields of the region, conduct joint researches, monitor the impact of
climate change on glaciers, and warn the international community on these
History of the Central Asia knows what the connivance has resulted in
use of the natural resources. Predetermining the actual destruction of the Aral
Sea, we shall not allow the disappearance of glaciers, which are the source of
life in Central Asia. In this regard, we
believe that need has matured to establish the International Fund for Glacier
Saving (preservation), which would consolidate efforts of countries of the
region and the international community in this strategically important sector.
The situation in
Central Asia is worsened by the population
growth and intensive economic development of countries in the region, which,
according to some estimates, it will lead to increased water consumption of
15-20% by 2030.
This trend will
certainly raise a serious concern. Significant reduction of emissions to the
atmosphere would be promoted by giving a higher priority to renewable energy
sources instead of fuel components, which are major sources of air pollution.
In this regard the hydro-resources are more preferred, which our region is rich
of. Only in Tajikistan,
the annual potential hydropower resources are 527 billion kw/h,
which exceeds the current needs of all countries of the Central Asian region in
three times. This potential is currently used for 5-6% only. Hydropower, in
addition to providing clean and cheap electricity, is also important in view of
sustainable use of the natural resources in the distant future, when oil and
gas reserves, which are intensively used by some countries in the region for
electricity generation, will be exhausted.
In terms of
climate change also importance is given to the rational use of land and water
resources. This, mainly, relates to irrigated agriculture, consuming the
considerable part (90%) of water resources in the region. It has to be
emphasized that over the past 20 years the area of irrigated lands in the Central Asia has been increased from 3 to 9 million
hectares. Therefore, in today's growing water shortage in the region the
priority should be given to the development and application of new melioration
regimes, increasing the efficiency of irrigation systems and optimization of
Dear ladies and
gives special importance to settlement of water problems at the global level.
As a country initiator of two important water resolutions of the UN General
Assembly - the Declaration on the International Year of Freshwater (2003) and
the International Decade for Action «Water for Life» (2005-2015), we are very
interested in the successful implementation of the goals of this decade. For
this purposes, the Government of Tajikistan will organize the International
Water Forum in Dushanbe
in June 2010. The purpose of this event is to review progress on achievement of
goals decade, as well as formulate concrete proposals for successful
implementation of tasks in its second half.
as one of the key factors in the further development of water processes, will
be one of the main themes of the coming Forum. We are inviting all interested
parties and, first of all, the organizations, participating in the mechanism of
«UN-Water» for cooperation in preparation and conducting this important event
at a high level.
Thank you for