There are more dust storms in Dushanbe, and the heat inside the neighbourhoods in summertime is unbearable. The lack of shade is taking its toll. We believe that we can create comfortable living conditions together in our Central Asian summers by improving the number of trees in the city. Therefore, we have decided to talk about it publicly and based on facts.
Let's talk together about what can be improved, and who our Green Heroes are.
Ellina Kim
A concrete jungle, unfortunately, won't create a pleasant living environment. It is too hot in summer and too cold in winter. The most natural and eco-friendly solution comes from ecological urbanism.
We talked to environmentalists, activists and residents of the capital city about how deforestation and desertification have affected the climate in Dushanbe.

Davlatali Sharipov, a forestry expert, Margarita Voytova, chairman of the children's environmental organisation Zumrad, and Alexander, an employee of Zumrad, told us about how Tajikistan takes care of its forests and shore protection work.

Every year since 2000 we plant 1000 saplings of trees and shrubs together with the teenagers who attend our organization.
Often locals also join our actions and participate in the so-called khashars with great enthusiasm.
When people plant trees themselves, the attitude towards nature changes for the better

On 9 November, Dushanbe had an air quality index of 391, the standard for people with allergies is 100

Strong winds blow dust and sand from the deserts of Afghanistan's Kandahar and Iran's Kerman to the north for nearly 1,000km. The “Afghans” are the most frequent cause of suffering among the residents of Tajikistan's southern regions and of the capital, Dushanbe.

The Academy of Sciences of Tajikistan says the number of dust storms in the country has increased at least tenfold over the past 30 years. Whereas in the early 1990s they occurred only 2 or 3 times a year, the number of dust storms registered in recent years has risen to 35 annually. Why is this the case and can green spaces partly help to solve the problem?
To learn why dust is people's greatest enemy in Dushanbe and how trees can make a difference in the cleanliness of the city's air, explains Khurshed Abdukodiri, an expert on climate change and ecosystem services.
Dust in Dushanbe is people's greatest enemy. Together with Khurshed Abdukodiri, an expert on climate change and ecosystem services, we explored how trees can affect the cleanliness of the city's air.

We spoke to eco-activist Amir Isayev. Despite the difficult year 2020, Dushanbe has become a little greener thanks to Amir Isayev and Navruz Odinaev. The activists, supported by local authorities and international organisations, together with volunteers and like-minded people, were able to organise two large-scale tree planting events. Nearly 3,000 saplings were planted.

Amir Khanma
At the end of 2019, we put together the first large-scale action to clean the bank of the Dushanbe river from rubbish. After holding the 5th event together with other like-minded people, we decided to carry out the largest tree planting action ever. We were pleasantly surprised that in a few hours we had planted about 2,000 trees together.

We have a lot of people who care and are ready to join in at any time, just waiting for someone to start organizing similar actions.
Tajikistan is a country with very little forest area. Only 3 per cent of the land is forested. Because of their mountainous origin and location in the water formation zone, these forests are important for water protection and water regulation purposes, as well as for soil protection and disaster risk reduction. Although the forests are subject to strict protection, their condition is constantly deteriorating due to anthropological influences.

"Due to intensive cattle grazing and illegal logging, the annual rate of deforestation exceeds the natural biomass growth in the forests. According to some estimates, the area of juniper forests is shrinking by about 2-3% per year. Such a rate could lead not only to irreversible desertification but also to an increase in natural disasters. This is a real threat to agricultural activities and to the lives of local people," said Zhyldyz Shigayeva, a senior research fellow at the Mountain Societies Research Institute, UCA's Graduate School of Development.
Make your choice. Trees don't have a voice, you have one
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Green heroes
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