In-depth

Alternative business development in the Caspian Sea region
Alternative business development in the Caspian Sea region to reduce pressure on marine biological resources (Photo: UNDP in Turkmenistan)

In the area of environment and energy Turkmenistan is guided by the National Strategy on Climate Change until 2030 that was developed with substantial technical support from UNDP. The Strategy lays out the policy framework for building climate resilience and low emission economy in Turkmenistan.  It also stipulates a number of sector-specific measures to ensure mitigation and adaptation response from the key economic areas, such as oil and gas, power engineering, construction, water, agriculture and the like. This signals that Turkmenistan is eager to make its economy greener and become more resource efficient.  

While effectively supporting the implementation of the National Strategy on Climate Change, UNDP is assisting the Government in elaboration of the two National Action Plans for Mitigation and Adaptation. This work is done in partnership with the Ministry of Economy and Development and Ministry of Nature Protection.

Climate Risk Management

Turkmenistan is determined to improve the country's economy preparedness for climate change. The National Climate Change Strategy of Turkmenistan acknowledges the importance of early action to reduce the impact of climate change and minimize threats to ecosystems, human health, economic development and infrastructure. In light of it, UNDP aims to enhance the capacity of Turkmenistan to mitigate climate risks by strengthening the institutional, legal and technical capacities of key institutions of Turkmenistan in order to achieve a better understanding and awareness of climatic risks. UNDP is focusing on improving the provision of climate risk management information in three climatic zones of Turkmenistan - Nohur, Yerbent and Mary. It is expected that with UNDP support a national CRM network will be established, national information materials will be developed, and best practices will be disseminated at the national and local level.

Improving Energy Efficiency in the Residential Sector of Turkmenistan

Severe climate conditions in Turkmenistan make effective heating and cooling in buildings essential to well-being of the population. UNDP supports national efforts to improve energy efficiency in residential buildings. UNDP partners with the State Corporation “Turkmengaz” with the financial support from the Global Environment Facility to strengthen incentives and capacity to build highly energy-efficient buildings and mainstream energy efficient measures into state construction and housing policies and programmes so that these measures can be replicated in prototype buildings. Two energy audits were conducted for pilot buildings in the capital city of Ashgabat to identify energy loss patterns in buildings. The findings will be used in application of targeted energy efficient measures as part of retrofitting and introducing revision of building code.

Strengthening Management Effectiveness of the Protected Areas System of Turkmenistan

The globally significant biodiversity of Turkmenistan is partially protected through the system of protected areas covering nearly 4% of its territory. UNDP complements Turkmenistan’s efforts in strengthening the protected areas system management capacity. With the GEF funding UNDP partners with the Ministry of Nature Protection of Turkmenistan to develop a Plan of Action for the Protected Areas System that will set priorities and steps to expand the existing area and identify additional protected areas, including establishment Turkmenistan’s first National Park “Sumbar”. In 2012, the Mejlis passed the law “On Protected Areas” and the Regulation “On the National Parks”, which were drafted with UNDP support. These legislative acts are seen as a major step forward enabling new effective mechanisms for community based biodiversity conservation and creating income generation opportunities through ecotourism and small businesses.

UNDP also supports the country to upgrade its protected areas system through establishment of the first National Park “Sumbar” in Turkmenistan that will also promote local ecotourism potential and improve livelihood of local communities once established.

Addressing Climate Change Risks to Farming System

According to the 2010 Second National Communication of Turkmenistan to United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, almost 80 % of the territory of the country lacks a constant source of surface water flow.  In the face of this challenge, Turkmenistan embarked on assessment of the water sector to identify ways for more effective management of water resources and agriculture. Based on this work, Turkmenistan was the first country in the CIS and Europe to receive a grant worth nearly USD $ 3 million from the Adaptation Fund for improvement of water resources management for the farming sector, taking into account the local climatic conditions.

The project is currently implemented jointly with the Ministry of Nature Protection of Turkmenistan. In this project UNDP seeks to help local communities in three different agro-climatic regions to identify and implement effective adaptation measures to improve their resilience to increasing aridity and water scarcity. It promotes enhancing local capacities for adapting water management and builds on successes and lessons learned of a previously implemented initiative on land management.

National Biodiversity Planning

Biodiversity is critical to the economy of Turkmenistan. The fisheries, tourism, forestry and agricultural industries depend directly on the sustainable use of ecological resources. Under the new Strategic Plan of the Convention on Biological Diversity Turkmenistan is expected to update national action plan by 2015 to include the value of biodiversity and ecosystem services into national and local development strategies, increase the values of the protected areas, strengthen resilience to climate change and other provisions. In this effort UNDP aims to support integration of Turkmenistan’s obligations under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) into its national development and sectoral planning frameworks.  This will be done through renewed and participative biodiversity planning process. More specifically, UNDP will organize a participatory stocktaking exercise on biodiversity planning to develop national biodiversity targets, integrate new aspects of the CBD into the national action plan and establish new national framework for resource mobilization.

Highlights of Environment and Energy Programme in Turkmenistan

  • Turkmenistan has adopted the National Strategy on Climate Change until 2030
  • In 2012, the Mejlis passed the law “On Protected Areas” and the Regulation “On the National Parks”
  • Turkmenistan developed and adapted 12 best practices on how to combat degradation of lands and natural pastures.
  • Turkmenistan published new edition of the Red Data Book of Turkmenistan (flora and fauna)