Tajikistan is a mountainous country with diverse topography and is especially vulnerable to climate hazards. It is prone to earthquakes, floods, drought, avalanches, landslides and mudslides. The most vulnerable areas are the glacier-dependent river basins supplying hydropower and water resources for irrigation, fragile mountain ecosystems and isolated forest with mountainous and riverine terrain which makes it prone to landslides and land degradation. In addition, 64% of the population is living under the poverty line. Lack of emergency management capacity has increased Tajikistan’s sensitivity to natural hazards. The country’s worst drought was in the year 2000, which affected about 3 million people. About 36% of Tajikistan is at risk of landslides and mudslides; in 2006, about 13,000 people were affected by flooding and landslides.
This section provides a summary of key natural hazards and their associated socioeconomic impacts in a given country. It allows for a quick assessment of most vulnerable areas through the spatial comparison of natural hazard data with development data, thereby identifying exposed livelihoods and natural systems.
The charts provide overview of the most frequent natural disaster in a given country and understand the impacts of those disasters on human populations.
Climate change is now recognized to have a significant impact on disaster management efforts and pose a significant threat to the efforts to meet the growing needs of the most vulnerable populations. The demands of disaster risk management are such that concise, clear, and reliable information is crucial. The information presented here offers insight into the frequency, impact and occurrence of natural hazards. Source (PDF)
Understanding natural hazard occurrence as well as historical climate conditions, in relation to development contexts, is critical to understanding a country’s historical vulnerability. This tool allows the visualization of different natural hazards or historical climate conditions with socio-economic and development datasets. Select the Development Context and either a Natural Hazard or Climate Condition and overlay horizontally by sliding the toggle left or right to gain a broader sense of historically vulnerable areas.
Data presented under Historical Climate Conditions are reanalysis products derived from ERA5-Land data. ERA5-Land is a global land-surface dataset at 9 km resolution, consistent with atmospheric data from the ERA5 reanalysis from 1950 onward. Climate reanalyses combine past observations with models to generate consistent time series of multiple climate variables. They provide a comprehensive description of the observed climate as it has evolved during recent decades, on 3D grids at sub-daily intervals.
This data has been collected, aggregated and processed by the Climate Resilience Cluster of the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Earth Observation for Sustainable Development (EO4SD) initiative.
- Tajikistan’s forest density has also decreased by 20% in 2007 as compared to 1990. In 2003, heavy periods of rainfall destroyed 185 km of forest roads, damaged 50,000 planting stocks of forest nurseries, 9,000 fruit and forest trees were damaged with total yield loss of the harvest, constituting almost 70%, due to extreme weather events, causing very high economic losses.
- Tajikistan experienced extreme high temperatures in 2000 and 2008. Projected increases in temperature could result in an increase in the frequency or intensity of heat waves, and, together with higher evaporation, could lead to increased drought, with subsequent loss of crops and pastures, and the expansion of desert areas.
- Extreme high temperatures will also cause glaciers to melt, which could lead to flooding in some areas and shortage of fresh water in other areas.
- The increase in intensity of precipitation will aggravate mudflow, landslides and avalanches.
More information on natural hazards can be found at ThinkHazard.
- Around 20 percent of Tajikistan’s glaciers have retreated and some have already disappeared. By 2050, up to 30 percent more are likely to retreat or disappear. This development might increase the risk of sudden floods from glacier lake outburst floods. In the long run, glacier retreats and more severe and frequent droughts are likely to cause severe water shortage, posing threats to food security and the environment.
- Given the water interdependence of countries in the Central Asia region, climate change is likely to aggravate conflicts over water resources. The downstream countries (Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan) have rising populations and are heavy water consumers for cotton production, whereas the upstream countries (Kyrgyz Republic and Tajikistan) want to use more water for electricity generation and farming.
- Deterioration of irrigation and sanitation infrastructure and poor administrative water allocation systems also contribute to the region increasing water scarcity.
- The Fergana basin, situated in Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan is particularly vulnerable to climate change and prone to conflicts, because it is the most important area of agricultural cultivation and the most densely populated part of the region. More frequent and severe droughts may aggravate soil degradation and salinization of areas of Central Asia as a result of poorly managed agricultural irrigation, clearing of forests, overgrazing, and unsustainable agricultural practices.