As the world meets at the United Nations Climate Change summit in New York, IOM Tajikistan is launching a major new project on climate change, gender, and migration.
The mountainous Central Asian nation is highly vulnerable to disasters, which are being exacerbated by environmental degradation, fluctuations in climate, and adversely impacting its economy.
Over the years, migration has become an adaptation strategy for many, as tens of thousands of people, most of them male, seek work in neighbouring countries and farther afield. This leaves women managing new challenges, including the adverse impacts of disasters such as increasing drought and floods on their households and communities.
“It’s about more than just protecting the environment,” commented IOM Tajikistan Chief of Mission Cristina Gheorghe Tranca, in the lead-up to panel event organized by IOM and the Tajik Government, in the capital Dushanbe on Thursday. “We need to prioritize technical support to women left behind. This could be providing tailored information on financial services and climate action, improving financial inclusion among women, develop gender-sensitive training and extension services - would better prepare their households to manage risks from drought, floods and other hazards.”
The meeting is being co-organized by the Committee for Environmental Protection and the Ministry of Labour, Migration and Employment of Population, and includes government agencies, international organizations, civil society and academics.
IOM will use the occasion to launch its new initiative to understand the nexus of migration, gender, climate change and agriculture in Tajikistan. The new initiative aims to ensure mainstreaming migration in climate change policies and programmes and vice-versa as well as assess effectiveness of capacity building interventions for women left behind to support adaptation in remittance-recipient households. A two-year programme, it is financed by IOM Development Fund to the tune of USD 200,000.
“We recognize the necessity to step up national, regional and international efforts to address challenges and opportunities associated with human mobility that arise from the impacts of environmental shocks and stressors,” said Tranca. “Our project will see us involved in policy work and advocacy, research, capacity building, and operational activities on this theme together with the Government of Tajikistan, international partners and national agencies.”
The project will contribute to the realization of Tajikistan’s National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy.
Pictures: Jamoliddin Yoqubov, Committee of Environment Protection of the Republic of Tajikistan