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WASHINGTON – The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved today $45 million in grant financing from the International Development Association (IDA) for the RESILAND CA+ Program: Tajikistan Resilient Landscape Restoration Project. The goal of the project is to support sustainable land management in Tajikistan and promote collaboration with Central Asian countries on transboundary landscape restoration. This is the first project under the World Bank’s Central Asia Resilient Landscape Restoration (RESILAND CA+) Program.

“Over 70% of Tajikistan’s population lives in rural areas and is highly dependent on natural resources, including forest, pasture, water and agriculture lands,” said Ozan Sevimli, World Bank Country Manager for Tajikistan. “The project will introduce modern approaches and climate smart practices in forest, pasture and cropping lands management to help restore natural resources and improve people’s livelihoods.”

Drylands in Central Asia are among the most rapidly degrading and climate-vulnerable areas in the world. The region is exposed to intense weather events and natural disasters, which are expected to worsen as a result of climate change.

Since 1990, degradation-related disasters have affected the lives of over 10 million people in Central Asia and caused damages worth around $2.5 billion. In Tajikistan alone, the increased frequency of landslides and mudflows has led to an economic cost of about $750 million over the past decade. At least 10% of Tajikistan’s population is living on degraded lands, while soil erosion affects about 70% of arable land. Tajikistan’s limited forest cover is diminishing rapidly due to overexploitation and uncontrolled grazing.

The World Bank Central Asia Resilient Landscape Restoration Program (RESILAND CA+ Program) was formed in 2019 to provide Central Asian countries with a regional framework for landscape restoration to increase the resilience of regional landscapes.

In Tajikistan, the project will invest in forest and pasture management and restoration, climate-smart agriculture practices, knowledge exchange and capacity building, and sustainable management of protected areas. It will also help align policies and implementation frameworks for forests, pastures, and protected areas with international norms and obligations.

These activities are designed to enhance rural livelihoods through land-based restoration and conservation activities, while investing in climate change mitigation and adaptation. On the regional level, the project will contribute towards improved connectivity and integrity of natural resources across borders (including biodiversity), increased resilience of key regional infrastructure such as roads, and livelihoods protection of corridor communities.

The project will support Tajikistan’s global climate commitments, including under the 2018 Bonn Challenge to restore 66,000 ha of degraded forest land by 2030, and the 2018 Astana Resolution on reinforced cooperation on landscape restoration in Central Asia.

Currently, the World Bank is financing 23 projects in Tajikistan totaling at $1.29 billion. Since 1996, the World Bank has provided over $2.3 billion in IDA grants, highly concessional credits, and trust funds for Tajikistan. The World Bank Group is committed to continuing its support for Tajikistan as it strives to improve the lives and meet the aspirations of its young and growing population.

 

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