RESILIENCE, CLIMATE CHANGE AND ENERGY
Programme at a glance
In Turkmenistan, UNDP supports implementation of the country’s obligations under Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) and helps to integrate environmental concerns into national and sectoral plans and strategies; secure resources; and implement programmes that advance inclusive, sustainable development, and strengthen livelihoods at the national level.
UNDP Country Office works to strengthen national policy and laws and provide expertise to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote sustainable practices on energy efficiency, the use of renewables, urban development and household waste management. This involves working closely with the Government to pilot and scale up specific initiatives and technologies aimed at improving resilience to climate change-related risks, ensuring biodiversity conservation, sustainable land use and water management, and facilitating better preparedness for natural disasters.
We represent one of the biggest environment programmes in the country and remain the primary development agent for such international funds as the Adaptation Fund (AF), Green Climate Fund (GCF) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF). In line with Agenda 2030, we work with the local communities searching for sustainable solutions to the pressing needs and issues arising because of climate change.
Supporting the environmentally sustainable use of natural resources and contributing to effectiveness of economic processes and better quality of life of the population, until now, UNDP in Turkmenistan environment programme has embraced over 500,000 people and contributed to reduction of 1.6 tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually.
SCALING UP ADAPTATION:
COUNTRY WIDE ACTIONS ON FIGHTING CLIMATE CHANGE EFFECTS
When UNDP started working with the farmers and cattle breeders of Turkmenistan in 2011, the terms adaptation and climate change were unknown. Since then our continuous effort in educating, demonstrating and bringing new technologies have benefitted about 50 000 farmers and cattle breeders who apply more sustainable farming and cattle breeding practices.
Local farmers who took part in our project funded by the Adaptation Fund in Mary and Ahal regions testify that they vision of farming has changed. The project has encouraged them to turn from production of raw materials to end products and they are searching for opportunities to open small factories for production of home-made agricultural products.
Building up on the results of Adaptation Fund project, UNDP has expanded its work to Dashoguz and Lebap under the Global Environment Facility where we combine introduction of adaptation measures with promotion of gender equality and search for alternative financing.
INNOVATION AND ADAPTATION TO CLIMATE CHANGE IN THE HEART OF THE DESERT
Innovations are in the heart of our work and commitment to implement the Agenda 2030. Fighting climate change effects requires human resources, significant funding and new technologies that would support our efforts and bring the solutions to the existing consequences.
In this regard, UNDP introduces new technologies and finds solutions that would fit best to the local communities around Turkmenistan. We make sure that the technology that we bring is green, sustainable and close to local communities.
In the heart of the Karakum desert, UNDP pilots solar powered water pumping stations which shall restore the land, bring new areas for cattle breeding and ensure sustainability of the important agricultural sector of the economy.
NEW TECHNOLOGIES FOR WATER AND ENERGY EFFICIENCY
The irrigated agriculture in the country is the main water consumer and accounts for as much as 90% of the total water consumption. Due to the ongoing desertification and climate change which leads to severe problems of land degradation and water scarcity, farmers turn to ever-more irrigation as a mean to save their crop from drying out. However, around 50 percent of the water is lost between withdrawal and ultimate delivery due to the inefficient water supply chain.
Consequently, water management and energy efficiency in irrigated agriculture become a crucial issue, which have to be handled in order to reverse the damage that not only affects the agriculture and environment but the sustainable livelihoods of the local population by disturbing the economical domain of millions from across the country.
Thus, UNDP together with its partners conduct pilot projects to demonstrate how new research, new technologies and rational use of water increase efficiency of the agricultural sector and help preserve valuable land and water resources.
SUSTAINABLE CITIES: WHAT IS IT ABOUT?
It is estimated that by 2050, about 80% of the world's population will live in cities. The figure is expected to reach 6.5 billion people. The same tendency is observed in Turkmenistan, where the number of urban population exceeded rural in 2014. And this trend is accelerating. This growth of cities puts great pressure on existing infrastructure for energy, water, and transport. It also can increase problems of waste management and pollution. Thus, our task is to support and improve the level and quality of life of all citizens even under conditions of urban population growth and limited resources.
Sustainability requires planning based on robust data, strong policies and state financial support, and modern technical solutions for infrastructure. But it also requires the attention of citizens, who can play a very substantial role by their choices and behavior.
LOW-EMISSION ECONOMY: STEP 1
Turkmenistan has always been rich in its energy resources. The untapped potential allowed making government distribution of water, gas and electricity free. The income received from the export of the energy resources also allowed creating a system of distribution of energy to every household throughout the country, making sure that each single resident of Turkmenistan has access to gas and electricity. However, the country lacked a thorough regular analysis and monitoring of the energy distribution and consumption.
Since 2012, UNDP started advocating and promoting energy management in residential buildings sector of Turkmenistan in line with the national policy and the National Strategy on Climate Change. We aimed to ensure a regular and continuous monitoring, analysis and decision making on energy distribution and consumption through introduction of the Energy management system (EMS). Through our pilot on the basis of 8 residential buildings in Ashgabat, we have proved efficiency of the informed decision making backed up by monitoring and assessment of the ongoing situation.
As a result, Turkmenistan has adopted four revised building codes on roofs, residential buildings, climatology and heating; induced mandatory energy audit, “energy passport” and energy management system for all buildings; and promoted energy saving design of the new buildings.
START FROM ZERO:
CLIMATE CHANGE EDUCATION IN SCHOOLS
In the desert country of Turkmenistan, already extremely hot and dry, for the past five decades climate warming has been observed and documented as occurring at a faster pace than anywhere else on the planet. The country is projected to experience an increase in average ambient temperature by up to 6-7 °C by the year 2100, while hydrometeorological modeling forecasts steadily declining precipitation nationwide by 8-17% through 2100 and beyond.
Meanwhile, sustainable behavior and practices rarely come naturally. To ensure that the existing resources are used rationally and not wasted, behavior change has to start from the very beginning of human life. For this reason, UNDP together with the Ministry of Education of Turkmenistan embarked on adoption of the set of training materials for schoolteachers and students “Climate Box”.
“Climate Box” project aims to educate and raise the awareness on the climate change among the school students of the region. The interactive learning toolkit on climate change was developed by an interdisciplinary team of Russian experts in 2014-2015. In 2016-2017, UNDP initiated the regional project on replication of Climate Box in countries of Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia.