Climate change and children
UNICEF takes actions to address the impact of climate change on children and incorporates climate change, environment and related issues in its programmes.
Turkmenistan has one of the harshest climates in Central Asia with populations living in northern regions also being severely affected by the Aral Sea crisis, land degradation, salinization, and desertiﬁcation. Climate change poses an additional threat to Turkmenistan manifesting itself in higher temperatures and likely lower rainfall, increased risk of ﬂooding of the Amu Darya River, ﬂash runoffs (10 per cent annually), heavy rains (5 per cent annually) and intense heat periods (1.6 per cent annually).
Climate change and environmental degradation impact children's well-being through undermining nutritious food production; reducing the availability of clean water; and deterioration of the environment, particularly with regard to air, water, and land pollution in northern Turkmenistan, most likely affected by the Aral Sea environmental crisis.
Climate change threatens children's survival, development, nutrition, education, and access to health care – all of which are children's rights enshrined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
In 2012, Turkmenistan adopted its National Strategy on Climate Change aimed at environmental conservation for the beneﬁt of present and future generations and improvement of living standards of the people through sustainable socio-economic development of the country.
Turkmenistan also signed and ratiﬁed the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, thereby reconﬁrming its commitment to climate change. The country has also nationalized all Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), including environment-related SDG 12 and 13 targets and indicators. Turkmenistan is investing in large infrastructure works to address water and land pollution, greening populated areas to reduce the impact of air pollution, investing in improved food production and water efﬁciency technologies.
UNICEF with support from Disaster Preparedness of the European Commission's department for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (DipECHO) undertook the countrywide Disaster Risk Reduction initiatives in schools, which includes mainstreaming disaster risk reduction into the curricular and undertaking school safety assessments.
The ﬁrst Climate Landscape Assessment for Children was conducted, which provides baseline information on climate and environment issues affecting children.
UNICEF also partnered with the Canadian Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI) to help the Ministry of Education incorporate climate change, and environment and energy conservation into the educational system.