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News: October 2006

TAJIKISTAN INITIATES MICRO HYDRO PROGRAM

Tajikistan's Energy Ministry plans to establish a program to develop community-based micro hydropower stations in remote rural areas of Tajikistan. The government will use a US$ 2 million Asian Development Bank (ADB) grant to set up the program.

The funds were provided by the government of Japan through ADB's Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction to set up run-of-river hydro projects of at least 200 KW each in six poor communities, ADB said. The goal of the program is to establish functioning community-based organizations capable of | managing micro hydro stations. The Energy Ministry is to carry out procurement, using ADB guidelines, to secure consultants and contractors. An international consultant will be appointed project manager and local, small-scale contractors with expertise and training in micro hydropower are to be hired as far as practicable.

Work is to include rehabilitation or upgrading of a maximum of six community-based energy organizations, implementation of a maximum of six pilot micro hydro projects of at least 200 KW each, strengthening of distribution networks, and supply of energy in pilot project areas.

In addition to the US$ 2 million grant, the government and beneficiary communities are to contribute US$ 398,970.

Source: HRW, volume 14, number 4, September 2006, 17.10.2006

CENTRAL ASIAN JOURNALISTS TRAIN TO COVER ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES

Six environmental information modules are now available on-line for the perusal of Central Asian journalists and journalism trainers, supported by UNESCO's International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC).

"The aim of this project was to increase the capacity of Central Asian journalists to cover environmental issues", says Sergej Karpov, UNESCO's ICT specialists, who worked with the Kazakhstani NGO Greenwomen Environmental News Agency to produce the modules.

Mr Karpov explains that these modules cover environmental conventions signed or ratified by Central Asian countries on climate, biodiversity, biosafety, desertification, chemical pollution, and water resource management, as well as key national policies, strategies and legislation. "Environmental issues, environmental journalism and education, as well as useful links can also be now found on-line."

The project also started the Central Asian Network of Environmental Journalists (CANEJ) and organized two workshops to popularize the on-line modules, for journalists from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

Source: KABAR, 17.10.2006