Industrialization, agriculture intensification, land use changes, and considerable demographic growth, conditioned the need for sustainable socio-economic development using environmentally friendly approach.
At the initial stage, nature resource management system in Tajikistan included a number of ministries and departments: Ministry of Water Management, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Public Health, Forestry Industrial Department, Geological Survey, Committee on Industry, etc. Due to uncoordinated environmental protection functions of the ministries and departments, such system of nature resource management did not meet the requirements of sustainable business activities and blocked the implementation of effective response measures and integrated environmental policy. All these factors complicated further economic growth and strengthened the dependence of human beings on healthy environment.
The state and the society, realizing the importance of the problem of sustainable nature management, considered the nature conservation policy as one of the national priorities. In this connection, the State Committee on Environmental Protection was established in 1989, which was later transformed into the Ministry for Nature Protection of the Republic of Tajikistan (in 1994). Thus, a specialized authorized environmental institution was organized and is now operating in the country.
For coordination of state policy on environmental protection, raising public awareness and enhancement of environmental education, State ecological programme (1996) and State programme on environmental education (1997) were elaborated and approved in the Republic.
National policy documents addressing the most important environmental problems are: the National Action Plan on Environmental Hygiene (2000), the National Action Plan to Combat Desertification (2001), the National Programme and Action Plan on Phasing out Ozone Depleting Substances (2001), the National Strategy on Public Health Protection (2002), the National Action Plan for Climate Change Mitigation and the First National Communication on Climate Change (2002). The National Report on Sustainable Development has been recently prepared (2002). The National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan is near completion (2003). The Republic of Tajikistan is taking active part in the developing and implementing the Regional Action Plan on Environmental Protection in Central Asia.
Article 36 of the Constitution of the Republic of Tajikistan states, that “the state guarantees the right of a citizen for a favorable environment”. The following laws are adopted in Tajikistan to protect the environment and to provide sustainable nature resource management:
These laws determine the main rights and responsibilities of the departments and institutions that deal with environmental protection and nature resource management. The measures preventing the violation of the environmental legislation are envisaged.
The government of the republic developed and approved over 30 sub-law acts to regulate the mechanisms of law implementation. Some of these are: on the responsibility for the water law violation, on the responsibility for causing damage by illegal hunting or killing animals, on organizing permanent environmental education of the population, etc.
Considering the urgency of the global environmental problems and their close relation to local conditions and environment, the Republic joined and ratified a number of important international agreements, including:
A number of law documents set the order of nature-use payments and the terms of application of economic mechanisms in this field. These documents determine both the standards of allowable impacts on the environment and the procedures of punishments for the excessive harmful pollution and waste formation. Law on nature protection imposes a system of penalties for damages caused to the nature.
Besides the specialized authorized state control agency, a number of ministries and departments deal with environmental regulations, including the Ministry of Water Management and Irrigation, Ministry of Public Health, Ministry of Agriculture, State Committee on Land Recourses, State Forestry Authority, State Mining Inspectorate. The network of executing committees of mentioned governmental institutions exists in many regions of the republic. To improve the system of ecological statistics and data collection, the Interdepartmental coordination committee on ecological statistics has been established in 2002.
As far as the legislation is concerned, the Lower Chamber of the Parliament develops, approves, and, if necessary, periodically introduces amendments and supplements in the laws to improve the latter. The specialized committee on public health, social policy and ecology has been created within the Parliament. The Upper Chamber of the Parliament approves new laws and introduced amendments. The President’s Office includes the department of ecology and emergencies.
There is a developed network of nature reserves, natural and historical parks, which play dominant role in ecosystem conservation and species management. There are hunting areas, where game shooting is strictly regulated, and species populations are estimated and restored. In addition, there were established protected forests and protected watercourses, where human activities are very limited.
Environmental education is in the focus of governmental and non-governmental organizations; professional ecologists, geographers, biologists, and environmentalists are trained; natural history and ecology are taught at schools and universities; non-governmental groups organize local actions, training seminars, and summer schools.
Last update 03/03/2003