Inspired by the principles of the Earth Charter, an international conference on “The Earth Charter and Sustainable Development in Tajikistan” took place on 22-23 April 2011 in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, commemorating the 22nd as Earth Day. The conference was organized by the Foundation to Support Civil Initiatives (FSCI, Dastgirie-Center), a public organization of the Republic of Tajikistan. The UNESCO National Commission of the Republic of Tajikistan also provided considerable assistance and financial support for the conference. The aim of the conference was to highlight the role of the Earth Charter principles in Tajikistan, and to come to agreements on how to move forward with putting those principles into practice. Among the participants at the conference were members of state departments and agencies, national and international experts on the issues of sustainable development and environmental protection, scholars, university faculty and students, other NGOs, international and mass media organizations, and a number of international guests from Russia and Kyrgyzstan. Furthermore, the conference was also aired that day on Tajik television.
The following people kicked off the conference and greeted the participants:
- K. Olimov, Chair of the UNESCO National Commission of the Republic of Tajikistan;
- A. Tursunov, academician, Academy of Science of the Republic of Tajikistan, Director of the Institute of Language, Literature, Oriental Studies and Written Heritage;
- M. Babadjanova, Director of the Tajik Branch of the Regional Ecological Centre of Central Asia.
The opening report, “Earth Charter – International Document of the UN: Phases of development and implementation + video clip on the Earth Charter”, was presented by M. Burkhanova, the Chair of the Foundation to Support Civil Initiatives (FSCI, Dastgirie-Center) and National Coordinator of the Earth Chapter in Tajikistan.
Special emphasis was given to ways in which the implementation of principles for sustainable development can be undertaken in Tajikistan, as reflected in short- and long-term national and international documents and processes such as poverty reduction strategy papers, the UN Millennium Development Goals and the RIO+20 Conference.
Climate change and the implementation of the Earth Charter principles on environmental protection were also highlighted in the analytical reports of the leading national experts.
Inspired by the principles of the Earth Charter, the creation of a culture of peace and nonviolence was also highlighted in the conference. Well-known national and international leading scientists of the Academy of Sciences focused their presentations on the topic of creating a culture of peace, including one on “From rationale mind to wisdom: The evolution of ecology” and another discussing “Islam: The ecology of the soul”.
As a result of the conference, a resolution was developed that will be submitted to the Parliament of Tajikistan, the Environmental Protection Committee, the Office of the President of Tajikistan, and other interested organizations. A collection of reports from the conference “The Earth Charter and Sustainable Development in Tajikistan” will be widely distributed to organizations and NGOs, as well as being available on the FSCI website (www.fsci.freenet.tj). The reports will be dedicated to the memory of Marina Bakhnova, Earth Charter Coordinator for Eastern Europe and the NIS who passed away recently.