Uzbekistan: In carbon heavy region, World Environment Day puts clean energy in spotlight
TASHKENT, Uzbekistan – 6 June, 2011 – A week of activities organized around World Environment Day is helping to draw attention to the environment in carbon heavy Uzbekistan.The State Committee for Nature Protection of Uzbekistan, together with UNDP and United Nations agencies organized an exhibition, a symposium, fun for kids and an eco-tour. Read: Helen Clark's statement on World Environment Day Read: United Nations Secretary-General's message on World Environment Day
"When we impoverish the environment, we impoverish ourselves," said UNDP’s Helen Clark, in her statement on World Environment Day.
"It is the poorest who are hardest hit. Their lives are most directly dependent on the environments in which they live, and they are least able to protect themselves from the impacts of deforestation, change in rainfall patterns, or rising sea levels."
UNDP has partnered with Uzbekistan on renewable energy and energy efficient solutions to support “green growth” – as an investment in the country's long-term sustainable development.
UNDP is supporting Uzbekistan to develop a low emission development strategy and to implement the country’s clean development mechanism (CDM) project. With support from the MDG Carbon Facility, one clean development mechanism project in Uzbekistan has been registered under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
"In the absence of effective capacity building and appropriate advisory services, there’s a significant risk that only a few emerging economies will fully benefit from these positive developments," said Rebeca Grynspan, UNDP Associate Administrator.
"By some estimates around 90 percent of investments in clean energy go to G20 countries and the remaining 10 percent go to the rest of the world," said Ms. Grynspan.
"UNDP offers support and global expertise in building national capacities for environmental protection, cross-sectoral policy advice and establishing linkages between environmental and broader economic issues," said Anita Nirody, UNDP Resident Representative in Uzbekistan.
UNDP in Uzbekistan has been assisting the Government to address the problems related to climate change:
- Biogas technology
Farming and livestock are the main sources of livelihood for a majority of rural households in Uzbekistan. UNDP helped introduce biogas technology on dairy farms, increasing the farms' income through the sale of fertilizer and the increased productivity of green houses. Biogas has the potential to fulfil the energy needs of the farms.
"While using biogas technology, annually we can produce more than 10 million tons of organic fertilizers," said Ravshan Yuldashev, Director of the Milk Agro dairy farm in Zangiota district, Tashkent region. "These fertilizers are full of natural elements which improve the structure of soil and saturate it with nitrogen."
- Clean energy for rural communities in Karakalpakstan
Homes in the village of Qostruba, as well as the local school, have been outfitted with solar panels. As a result, in the evenings local women began producing handicrafts for local markets; information and learning opportunities became available as villagers were able to listen to radio and watch television; and children were able to use the evening light to read, and do homework.
- Locally produced solar panels
Local manufacturers were trained in Danish solar power technology, including how to produce, operate, install and maintain solar panels. Equipment was also provided to the companies. A new type of solar panel, based on locally available materials, was designed and 75 units were produced, installed and tested in the Tashkent Municipality.
"To date, we have provided 1,500 cubic metres of solar panels to rural medical centres, entrepreneurs and a natural reserve," said Shavkat Isamiddiniv, Director of ENCOM, a private company that produces solar panels.
- Solar powered rural health centres
One of the priorities of the Government of Uzbekistan is to establish and develop rural health clinics, as part of its national policy on primary health care. In response, UNDP helped to outfit four rural health clinics to become energy-efficient, including the use of solar energy, improving the reliability of power and heating. The majority of rural health clinics in Uzbekistan face problems with interruptions to power and heating which negatively impact the quality of medical services.
Uzbekistan and climate change
Action Today for Tomorrow`s climate: UNDP`s climate change portfolio in Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan is a dry, land-locked country, dependent on the glaciers of the mountainous region of Central Asia, not only as its only source of clean fresh water, but also as its long-term reserve.
An increase in the mean annual air temperature of less than one percent Celcius during the last Century was enough to reduce mountain glaciers in Central Asia by more than one third.
As the glacial ice continues to melt, the rivers in Uzbekistan will experience a short-term increase in level, but this will quickly be followed by a long-term decrease as the melt-water flowing into the rivers and streams lessens.
For more information: See UNDP's environmental portfolio in Uzbekistan
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