Protecting Human Health and the Environment – World Environmental Day!

1 year ago Web Desk 0

Today, on June 5th, the world is celebrating World Environmental Day. It was initially established by the United Nations in 1972, at the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment. Every year, the day is marked by a variety of events all around the globe to address environmental challenges and to remind us that the earth is our one and only home that requires our care and protection.


Tajikistan is gifted with beautiful landscapes, a unique diversity of plants and animals and abundant water resources. These natural resources are the basis of our life, producing revenue for the economy and contributing to the well-being and health of the whole population. However, changing weather and climate conditions in combination with an increasing overuse of natural resources threaten our basis of life, the economic development and the health of the population. Annual temperatures are rising, and precipitation patterns are changing, resulting in more mud- and landslides on the one hand and water scarcity on the other. Melting glaciers reducing the important water storage system in the region, and more heat waves will further weaken the environment to absorb shocks of natural and economic origin. The negative effects of climate change pose risks to the country’s economy, the health of the population and the state of the environment.


The Government of Tajikistan is currently undertaking comprehensive measures to contain the spread of COVID-19, with harsh consequences on virtually all areas of economic and social life. Large sums of money are being and foreseen to be allocated to support the national economy. At the same time, the virus has and will have impacts on the environment. Fewer cars, airplanes and factories are currently polluting the air. However, a rebound effect after the crisis must be prevented to stop a further increase in global warming. The COVID-19 pandemic is likely to have negative effects on sustainable development efforts in Tajikistan. A prolonged global economic slowdown will adversely affect the implementation of the country’s national plans and commitments to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.


There is growing evidence that the outbreak of COVID-19, is linked to vanishing barriers between humans and host animals due to altered and damaged natural habitats and ecosystems. The rising destruction and loss of biological diversity worldwide increase the probability of pandemics, alongside our globalized and increasingly connected world, which accelerates the spread of viruses. Both, the impacts of climate change and the consequences of the pandemic present Tajikistan with enormous challenges to be addressed.


In his address to the Tajik medical personnel, the Founder of Peace and National Unity, Leader of the Nation, President of the Republic of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon emphasized that “[r]ecent observations show that, as a result of climate change on the planet, the occurrence of various natural and technological disasters, including floods, droughts, avalanches, intensive receding of glaciers and other undesirable phenomena cause the emergence of various diseases. It is possible that one of the reasons for the emergence of the coronavirus are these factors. Therefore, a serious importance needs to be given to the issues of nature conservation and ensuring a clean environment, which is the most important task of all humankind, including our people”.


One of the key lessons from the crisis to learn is this: Nature is mighty and unknow, and we have not defeated it but live within it, no matter how much we aim at controlling it. We have a choice of going back to the world we knew before or start resolving decisively these issues that make us all vulnerable to this and future crises. Everything we do during and after the recovery must be with a strong focus on strengthening social, economic, and environmental resilience. It will help us to deal with and adapt to pandemics, climate change, and the negative impacts of biodiversity loss.


The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU), promotes the sustainable management of natural resources, adaptation to climate change and conservation of biodiversity in close cooperation with national and local partners in Tajikistan. Through several projects, the joint effort is put on protecting the country’s unique and precious environment, improving the livelihoods of rural communities, and strengthening their social and physical resilience.


Source: Asia Plus