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Environmental, social and economic sustainability driving development

Throughout its two decades of presence in Tajikistan, ACTED has been standing by the country’s most vulnerable communities to help them shape their future in the face of their many challenges. In 2015, ACTED has continued its long standing commitment to the Tajik population by contributing to the preservation of the country’s outstanding but fragile natural resources and ecosystem, supporting its vibrant civil society, and creating new inclusive economic opportunities. Interweaving environmental, social and economic advancement, ACTED’s holistic approach paves the way for truly inclusive and sustainable development in Tajikistan.

Preserving the balance of a fragile environment

Tajikistan is a mountainous country where the rich pastures, forests and arable lands provide for the livelihood of a significant fraction of the population. However, overexploitation and mismanagement of natural resources have led to soil degradation and increased disaster risk. In 2015, ACTED trained local communities, private actors and governmental organisations to better assess the threats they are exposed to and mitigate them. Specifically, ACTED organized cross-border emergency drills and introduced climate-smart agriculture techniques to reduce the impact of human activity on the fragile ecosystem, while supporting environmental engineering actions aiming at containing potential floods and landslides.

Empowering the Tajik civil society to shape its future

Within a governance framework inherited from the Soviet Union, the Tajik civil society has little space for expression and struggles to reach its full potential as a driver for change. In order to lift the barriers to development, ACTED trained in 2015 more than 60 non-state organisations to better engage with local and national authorities, paying specific attention to empower women and enable them to play their full role in the society. Furthermore, ACTED continued to foster social cohesion and the self-confidence of Tajiks of all age through its Cultural Centre Bactria in Dushanbe, which promotes Tajik culture and arts.

Unlocking Tajikistan economic growth potential

Tajikistan is still the poorest country of the former Soviet Union, despite the potential offered by its stunning natural environment, the skills of its craftsmen and its hard working population. ACTED fosters inclusive economic growth through the promotion of tourism and the support to small entrepreneurs. In 2015, ACTED supported 285 small and medium enterprises in their access to finance, technology and technical training. The NGO provided specific assistance to more than underserved youth, as more than 2,500 young Tajiks benefited from vocational and business education to enable them to generate a decent income for their households.

A continued commitment to the development of Tajikistan

Thanks to its long lasting support to the Tajik population and the effectiveness of its approach, ACTED is now recognized by all stakeholders as a key actor in the development community in Tajikistan, and has achieved to establish strong links with the communities it serves. In 2016, ACTED will build on its past successes by expanding its activities aiming at improving natural resource management and preventing disasters, while deepening its fruitful collaboration with Tajik civil society and entrepreneurs, further enhancing the services it provides them to contribute to the sustainable development of Tajikistan.

Cross border integrated natural resources management in the Aksu watershed

The Aksu River runs through the Pamir range between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan and his watershed provides livelihoods for thousands of herders, farmers and mountaineers. However, unsuitable agricultural practices are quickly degrading its natural resources, reducing fertility, increasing the frequency of flooding and landslides, and severely threatening the population. ACTED and its Alliance 2015 partners have led a comprehensive mapping of all risks and their causes in the watershed and shared with to local communities and authorities. ACTED then facilitated a participatory planning process involving all stakeholders to implement direly needed emergency pasture, forest and arable land restoration activities.

Looking ahead

As a response to shifts in traditional means of funding, ACTED Tajikistan worked in 2015 on exploring public-private partnership initiatives, by engaging relevant private stakeholders in the protection and development of rural communities. In parallel, ACTED worked towards an improved coordination of capacities and explore new opportunities within Alliance2015, which ACTED is leading in Tajikistan. Alongside these initiatives, ACTED Tajikistan’s 2015 programme focused on further expanding the capacity of cooperative structures and platforms in improving local governance and expanding sustainable resource management as a mechanism for accelerating the sustainable, economic development of rural communities.

Partners in 2015:

Aga Khan Foundation Canada (AKFC), Creative Learning (CL), European Commission Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (ECHO), European Commission Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development (DG DEVCO), Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GiZ), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Mr and Ms Villard (private donor), Ministère français des Affaires Etrangères et du Développement International (MAEDI), Swiss agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United States Embassy, City of Eybens

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