Country Profile: 

Demography (thousands):  8,191,958 (July 2015 est.) 
Multidimensional Poverty Index (%):  0.068
HDI Rank: 125
GDP per capita (US$): 2,800 (2015 est.)  

 

Background

In line with the UNDP-UNEP PEI global outcome and outputs, PEI Phase II (2014-2017) in Tajikistan continues to support improved governance and trickle-down effect of sustainable development agenda within national and sectoral development strategies through P-E mainstreaming, and as a result, ensuring better management of natural resources, and enhancement of regional cooperation and knowledge sharing on P-E mainstreaming in 2016. The PEI Tajikistan also intends to integrate a gender equality approach in P-E work through exploring linkages between gender and environment issues, and highlighting the important role that women play in the management of environment and natural resources. The project will also scale up P-E mainstreaming into development planning and focuses on the implementation of the P-E priorities with an emphasis on sustainability and ownership of P-E efforts at sub-national level. Synergies with UNDP projects are also a key component of the project, which enables PEI Tajikistan to successfully partner with other Communities Programme projects, namely with the Aid for Trade, SENACAM, CCCD and LITACA. Thus, The PEI Phase II implementation strategy is a reflection of the tradeoff between the Theory of Change-based approach and the approach influenced by the subjective factors attributable to various stakeholders' needs and opinions. 

Objective: 
To enhance implementation of local development policies, plans and budgets that combine environmental sustainability and poverty eradication to contribute to the achievement of the SDGs.
Assumptions
With political stability, poverty-environment mainstreaming will remain of strategic relevance to the government’s evolving policy path to sustainable development and achieving a green economy. Evidence-based decision making around the poverty-environment nexus will improve cross-sector coordination and integrated planning and budgeting processes, leading to increased investments in integrated water and better land management.

PEI Interventions 
In response to identified challenges, PEI focuses efforts in two key areas with capacity building as a crosscutting objective: 
P-E approaches and tools for integrated development policies, plans and coordination mechanisms applied

1.    Collect sector and local evidence around the poverty, environment and gender nexus to inform planning and budgeting for pro-poor environmental sustainability. 
1.    Build the knowledge base around environment-economic accounting systems towards institutionalization of cross-sectoral budget and medium-term expenditure frameworks.
2.    Application of poverty-environment approaches and tools for integrated national and local development policy and planning (focus on agriculture and links to land degradation, water management).

Progress
1.    Water Sector Reform Programme for the period 2016-2025 approved and Public Environment Expenditure Review (PEER) of the water sector in Tajikistan completed.
2.    National Development Strategy (NDS) for period of 2016-2030, the Mid-term Development Programme (MTDP) 2016-2020 integrates pro-poor environmental sustainability objectives and indicators.
2.    Sixty district development plans out of total 68 districts integrate pro-poor environmental sustainability objectives and indicators.
2.    Law on Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) drafted, pending approval in 2016.  
2.    Government commitment to apply Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) methodology as a tool for poverty-environment mainstreaming following its integration in its national plan 2016-2020 as one out of six priority areas.

Remaining Interventions
1.    Develop sector policy briefs based on key findings of the PEER of the water sector to make the case for increased investment through establishment of the Steering Committee for “National Policy Dialogue on Integrated Water Resources Management”. 
1.    Develop a methodology for the introduction of the System for Environmental and Economic Accounting (SEEA) in the in the system of national accounts.
1.    Promote cross-sectoral budget and expenditure reviews at the subnational level in the water sector as the Ministry of Energy and Water Resources (MEWR) is in the process of implementing sub-sector programme reforms.
2.    Integrate poverty-environment objectives in the 6 remaining local development plans (4 districts and 2 cities).
2.    Support the formulation of SMART gender – environment indicators and their application in upcoming planning, and monitoring processes. For example, in the review of the new Agricultural Census.

Achievements: 
  • The PEI Phase I was successful in supporting the mainstreaming of P-E and sustainability agenda as a cross cutting topic in the third mid-term development strategy, Living Standards Improvement Strategy (LSIS) of Tajikistan for 2013-2015, as well as the inclusion of a separate section on environmental protection.
  • Enhanced knowledge on the economic cost of land degradation associated with foregone production on degraded and unused agricultural land in terms of GDP and rural households’ unrealized benefits.
  • For the first time, representatives from the country’s Committee for Environmental Protection were given a place at the table to inform the regional economic plans.  As a result of the work, the Sughd regional development plan and all fourteen district plans address P-E issues. Almost 60% of the plans have fully integrated P-E recommendations for relevant sectors and 40% have a separate chapter on environment.
  • Thanks to the inclusion of poverty-environment tools in the national civil servant training curriculum government staff in other provinces planners around the country can now learn from the experiences in the Sughd region via a handbook that details in practical terms how to bring P-E into the planning process.
  • Environment and climate sustainability criteria were integrated into the design and application of the district Trust Funds/Rural Growth Programmes financial mechanism for DDP’s implementation. Local communities in Tajikistan were supported to identify ‘green’ products and services, which were then evaluated by representatives from the Committee for Environmental Protection. Today over 65 enterprises are supported by the regional trust fund mechanism (funded by DFID) that answer both environmental and poverty reduction criteria.  For example, through supporting microloan foundations that include P-E criteria for micro lending and the provision that at least 50% of the loans be targeted towards women-led initiatives. For the first time, women are taking an active role in local economic activity rather than relying exclusively on remittances from abroad.
  • Demonstrating improved capacity, the MEDT independently replicated the P-E mainstreaming approach in a further six districts and four municipalities. The national Statistical Agency has also now incorporated the indicators developed at the regional level into its database in order to continually track and monitor the new objectives. 
Key Documents

Influencing policy processes at national level - Poverty Reduction Strategy Processes

Influencing policy processes at sub-national level

Influencing policy processes at national level - National Poverty Plans and Strategies and Poverty-Environment Mainstreaming Guidelines

Public expenditure reviews and green budgeting

Economic Analysis

Understanding the governmental, political and institutional context

Raising awareness, communications and building partnerships

Mainstreaming Resources: