The World Bank has approved $45 million (£33.6m) in grant financing to help Tajikistan to protect its natural resources and increase climate resilience.
The project aims to support sustainable land management in the Central Asian country and promote collaboration with other nations in the region on landscape restoration.
According to the World Bank, drylands in Central Asia are among the most rapidly degrading and climate-vulnerable areas in the world, with the region exposed to intense weather events and natural disasters which are expected to worsen as a result of climate change.
Since 1990, degradation-related disasters have affected the lives of more than 10 million people in Central Asia and caused damaged worth around $2.5 billion (£1.86bn) .
In Tajikistan alone, the increased frequency of landslides and mudflows has cost the nation around $750 million over the last decade, with at least 10% of the country’s population living on degraded lands.
The project will invest in forest and pasture management and restoration, climate-smart agriculture practices, knowledge exchange and capacity building and sustainable management of protected areas.
It will support Tajikistan’s global climate commitments, including its pledge to restore 66,000 hectares of degraded forest land by 2030.
Ozan Sevimli, World Bank Country Manager for Tajikistan said: “Over 70% of Tajikistan’s population lives in rural areas and is highly dependent on natural resources, including forest, pasture, water and agriculture lands. The project will introduce modern approaches and climate smart practices in forest, pasture and cropping lands management to help restore natural resources and improve people’s livelihoods.”