Climate change is not a religion to believe in it. It is science, and the science is clear. The year 2020 has officially ranked 2nd hottest year on record for our planet. Depleting water resources, glacial shrinking, prolonged and more frequent droughts, hotter heatwaves, changing seasonal characteristics, intense and harder to predict extreme weather events, reduced agricultural yields, lower livestock productivity, negative impacts on human health, food systems and key infrastructure are among most vivid manifestations of direct climate change impacts that are observed in Kyrgyzstan and around the world today.
“We have come here to let them know that change is coming", Greta Thunberg told world leaders at the international UN climate negotiation conference in 2018. What started as an innocent school strike to bring the attention of politicians to climate change issues today serves as a symbol of climate change emergency. It has never been more imperative for humanity to act and the time to act is NOW.
The "Policy Action for Climate Security in Central Asia" project funded by the UK Government and implemented by UNDP in Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan pursued the goal of providing the necessary support to CA states to successfully participate in COP26 and implement the commitments under the Paris Accord.
The project worked under three streams to ensure a wide reach and deeper engagement of key stakeholders:
- Research to support and inform the development of nationally determined contributions under the Paris Agreement;
- Capacity building of key government stakeholders and policy makers for successful participation at COP26 climate negotiations and informed policy making around climate change policies;
- Public awareness around climate change issues among youth and the general public;
Within its first phase, the project “Policy action for climate security in CA” has delivered an online regional training on climate negotiation skills, a regional online conference on climate resilience and energy sustainability, a journalist training and launched first in Central Asia [UNFCCC designated], a Local Youth Conference [LCOY]!
"Policy action for climate security in CA” offered an excellent opportunity for Central Asian countries to join efforts of the global community to help curb climate change. Aligning these efforts with the goals of economic recovery due to COVID19 presents an added opportunity for countries to reorient policies and plans that will help build resilience, as well as build cities and communities that are clean, green, healthy and sustainable.
While projects like this one afford a great opportunity to accelerate government action on climate change issues and prepare for significant climate negotiations at COP, they cannot do the work for the human kind, the heavy lifting that is a deeper change of consciousness at all levels of the community geared toward scaling up action to respond to the threat of climate change.
Written by Pakiza Shirinova