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Hilfswerk Austria International



The overall objective is to contribute to the reconciliation of MDG 1 “eradicate extreme poverty and hunger” with MDG 7 promoting sustainable environment by formal research and appraisal of local knowledge.

The project aims to generate and appraise knowledge on the linkages between environment, disaster risk and poverty in selected communities alongside the Pjanj river (Tajikistan/Afghanistan) and Chong Alai valley (Tajikistan/Kyrgyzstan) to increase resilience of mountainous communities to geo-hazards.

The project will provide a platform for negotiating strategies on integration of environmental sustainability into policies among stakeholders of all levels, creating awareness on causes and effects of un-sustainable environment and disseminating knowledge on efficient interventions.

Target groups/final beneficiaries: political decision- makers at all levels, local scientists, governmental agencies; 120 villages in high mountainous areas of Tajikistan/Afghanistan and Tajikistan/Kyrgyzstan.

Tajikistan– 50 societies
Afghanistan – 50 societies
Kyrgyzstan – 20 societies

Target areas:

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Mountain communities are faced with multiple risks impacting their overall economic developing including food security issues, underdeveloped water-irrigation resource management, increased natural hazard threats, deteriorated access to markets, depleted healthcare and education systems, physical isolation, lack of micro-insurance, extreme poverty and others. Effective interventions therefore have to address all dimensions – environmental, social, institutional.

To develop policy recommendations on effective   and multi-dimensional measures, transdisciplinary research is necessary focusing on linkages between disaster risk, environmental degradation and poverty. Mountain communities of Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Afghanistan should be empowered to reduce the risk from and vulnerability to the natural hazards they face through better and more accurate information.

Our multi-step approach first seeks to identify risks through the application of community-based natural hazard and vulnerability risk assessments (HVRA) which marry both scientific and indigenous knowledge.

The second step of this approach generates risk knowledge by taking assessment information and applying risk mapping and risk modelling as a means to determine priority villages as well as re-producible and impactful risk reduction interventions.

Finally, once the priority villages are identified and risk reduction interventions determined, we then disseminate the risk information by applying a suite of activities to build capacity, reduce vulnerability and, where possible, even reduce the physical risk of hazards threatening local communities.

The project aims to involve stakeholders at all levels and to raise awareness on linkages between environmental protection, disaster risk reduction and sustainable livelihoods among political decision-makers and donor agencies.