Rural Tajik women implementing the Sustainable Development Goals of Agenda2030

Description of the project: WECF and Youth Ecological Center (YEC) empower Tajik rural women groups to boost the energy transition and agro-ecology in their villages. 155 women and 11 men from 4 rural organizations participated in technical trainings on sustainable water and sanitation, organic agriculture, homemade efficient stoves and solar technologies. Greenhouses allow farmers to grow vegetables and fruit seedlings and protect crops from climate impacts. Thanks to WECF’s Women2030 training tools used by YEC, the women gained knowledge on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and contributed to writing a shadow report on SDG implementation in Tajikistan, making gender focused policy recommendations in national consultation meetings. YEC and WECF encourage the rural women to create their own enterprise for a sustainable local economy.

Climate impact: Tajikistan’s forest cover has been halved in 50 years, due to heavy use of fuel wood. Coal production is planned to increase tenfold by 2030. 90 % of the soil surface is degraded. Transition to safe renewable energy and food production lacks institutional and financial support. This project develops accessible and affordable renewable energy technologies and organic farming skills for rural populations. Improved stoves, ecological insulation and solar water heaters help reduce CO2 emissions by 1ton per household per year, while solar greenhouses contribute to energy transition.

Gender impact: Gender stereotypes and traditional gender roles still prevail in Tajikistan. Discrimination in the labor market is strong, with most women being informally employed in agriculture. The project empowers women via technical trainings in innovative energy and agricultural technologies. With the acquired skills they gain a greater social status and become role models for others. Furthermore, their new revenues improve their financial independence and allow them to participate in local and national governance.

Scalability/replicability: Linking practical trainings with policy processes and boosting the emergence of a sustainable local economy is a good basis for up-scaling. YEC and WECF enable women groups from different villages to exchange their experience and learn from each other, as well as to actively contribute to transition policies. Tutorial videos have been produced to disseminate the technologies further. The technical equipment is designed on site and materials are locally sourced, so that the women can easily pass on their skills and competences to others.

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Women promoting clean energy on the roof of the world

Description of the project: This project in upper Bartang valley, Pamir, Tajikistan improves the life of women and local communities through efficient use of natural resources with affordable sustainable energy technologies. The project supports 55 women and their vulnerable families in 5 communities. Women and men participated in awareness raising and technical trainings, including exhibitions on sustainable energy solutions, workshops on the construction of solar water heaters and food dryers, trainings on women’s empowerment and a study tour in other villages. In all, 55 efficient cooking stoves, 75 parabolic solar cookers, 40 solar lanterns, 55 pressure cookers and 2 solar water heaters were distributed in the target villages. Additionally, 300 tree seedlings will be planted to regenerate the forest.

Climate impact: Renewables and resource efficient technologies such as solar ovens and water heaters, pressure cookers, or improved stoves significantly reduce firewood consumption (at least by 3 tons/year/family), mitigating CO2 emissions and indoor pollution, and improving comfort and sanitation. The reforestation component will help to reverse climate change impacts in an area that has suffered from an acceleration of desertification due to deforestation.

Gender impact: Little Earth focuses on empowering women as problem solvers and new technology experts and leaders. With extra hours gained during the day, on chores like gathering wood, and in the evenings, thanks to solar lanterns, women can pursue new sources of income such as embroidery or knitting. Children can study and stay in school. With additional income, beneficiaries can diversify and improve family diets, ensuring food security and better nutrition. Women are seen as valuable contributors in the communities, changing social dynamics for the better.

Scalability: Promoting affordable, low-tech and adapted renewable energy technologies to isolated, off-grid communities that are severely impacted by climate change is a model that can be replicated in many similar regions. Little Earth partners with another NGO and with local authorities. They would like to extend this initiative throughout the Bartang Valley and in other mountainous areas of Tajikistan, where patriarchal structures prevent change. Empowering women as problem solvers and leaders in their communities transforms the social dynamics and paves the way for stronger resilience.

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