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Tajikistan: Health and Pollution Action Plan

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The Health and Pollution Action Plan (HPAP) is a pollution analysis and prioritization process designed to assist governments of low- and middle-income countries to develop and implement solutions to priority pollution challenges.

The goal of each HPAP is to establish pollution as a priority for action within national agencies and development plans, and to define and advance interventions to reduce pollution exposures and related illnesses.

A Health and Pollution Action Plan (HPAP) has been initiated in Tajikistan, and will be completed by 2021.

In October 2020, an HPAP workshop was held in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. The workshop was organized by Pure Earth and the national civil society organization Peshsaf, funded by USAID.

36 participants attended, including representatives of national and local NGOs and national experts. Participants wore masks and practiced social distancing, and some attended virtually.

The workshop presented results of a national inventory of toxic sites undertaken by Pure Earth’s Toxic Sites Identification Program (TSIP) in Tajikistan, along with updates on cleanup activities. More than 160 sites were assessed by various TSIP teams across the  country. Participants saw photographs of toxic sites assessed by the TSIP teams, data collected, and interviews with people who live in contaminated areas.

The collected data forms the basis for the development of the HPAP report, which is being prepared by Pure Earth and the Global Alliance on Health and Pollution (GAHP) in collaboration with national experts and the Stockholm Center of the Committee of Nature Protection of Tajikistan. The HPAP report includes an analysis of the current system of Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) management and implementation of the Stockholm Convention in Tajikistan, and suggestions to guide future work.

Workshop participants agreed that going forward, work would include: improvement of the legislative and institutional framework, building capacity of national institutions and laboratories for monitoring environmental levels of obsolete pesticides, collecting more data on environmental pollution and health risks, educating decision-makers and the general public, and conducting cleanup activities.

The HPAP process is designed to communicate the full impacts of pollution to as broad an audience as possible, and thus relies heavily on health and economic impact data to present a compelling justification for increased resources and action.