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Environmental Crime Legal Framework in Tajikistan

Tajikistan’s constitution contains provisions for the protection of the environment. Article 38 reads: “Everyone has the right to protection of health. Everyone within the framework determined by law enjoys free medical assistance in the State healthcare establishments. The State adopts measures for improvement of the environment, development of mass sport, physical culture, and tourism”.

Featured Legislation

1996: The Land Code was passed. The present Land Code regulates land relations and is aimed at the creation of conditions for rational use and protection of land, reproduction of soil fertility, conservation and improvement of environment and equal development of all forms of land tenure. The document consists of 19 Chapters that contain 105 Articles. Chapter 1 (arts. 1- 18) lays down the general provisions. Chapter 2 (Arts. 19 – 21) establishes the rights and the duties of land tenants. Chapter 3 (Arts.22 – 31) regards allocation of land. Chapter 4 (Arts. 32 – 36) concerns land charges. Chapter 5 (Arts. 37 – 40) regards cessation of the right of land tenure. Chapter 6 (Arts. 41 – 45) deals with compensation of losses to land tenants and losses of agricultural production. Chapter 7 (Arts. 46 – 50) regards protection of land rights and examination of land disputes. Chapter 8 (Arts. 51 – 54) concerns land protection. Chapter 9 (Arts. 55 – 56) deals with state control over the observation of land legislation, land tenure and land conservation. Chapter 10 (Arts. 57 – 63) regards land survey, state land cadastre and land monitoring. Chapter 11 (Arts. 64 – 75) concerns agricultural land. Chapter 12 (Arts. 76 – 80) concerns urban land. Chapter 13 (Arts 81 – 87) regards industrial land, land destined for transport, communications, defence and other purposes. Chapter 14 (Arts. 88 – 91) concerns environmental protection, sanitary, recreational and historical and cultural land. Chapter 15 (Arts. 92 – 94) regards land of state forestry. Chapter 16 (Arts. 95 – 98) regards land of state water resources. Chapter 17 (Arts. 99 – 100) regards public land. Chapter 18 (Arts. 101 – 104) establishes liability for the infringement of land legislation. Chapter 19 (art. 105) regards international agreements.

1996: Law No. 228 (on protection of the atmospheric air) was signed. This Law establishes that the purposes of protection of the atmospheric air shall be: (a) to ensure favorable environment; (b) conservation of air quality; (c) state supervision of atmospheric air of inhabited areas; and (d) enforcement of legislation in the sphere of atmospheric air. The Act consists of ten Sections divided into 36 articles: (1) general provisions; (2) rights and duties of citizens; (3) air quality rate setting; (4) economic mechanism of protection of the atmospheric air; (5) environmental audit; (6) atmospheric air protection requirements in the process of economic activity; (7) registration of emissions; (8) dispute settlement; (9) liability; and (10) international cooperation. The authorized state institution in the sphere of protection of the atmospheric air shall be the Ministry of Environmental Protection. Air quality standards shall establish: (a) maximum concentration of pollutants in the atmospheric air; (b) maximum emission limits for stationary and non-stationary sources; and (c) maximum limit of electro-magnetic pollution. Pollution of the atmospheric air by emissions shall be charged. Protection of the ozone layer shall be carried out by reduction of ozone depleting substances.

​​2003: Law No. 42 “On radiation safety" was promulgated. The scope of this Law is to ensure radiation safety and to protect life, health and property of citizens, and also the environment against negative impact of ionizing radiation. Basic principles of ensuring radiation safety shall be: (a) prohibition of any use of ionizing radiation that may cause additional radiation dose to already existing natural radiation background; (b) maintenance of low radiation doses caused by ionizing radiation; (c) keeping within established safe levels radiation from all sources of ionizing radiation; and (d) decontamination of environment in case of radiation accident or disaster. State regulation of radiation safety shall be carried out through the following functions: (a) protection of population against impact of ionizing radiation; (b) licensing of all types of activity related to use of nuclear energy; and (c) prevention of radioactive pollution of the environment. The population shall be informed of the state of radiation and arrangements for ensuring radiation safety.

2008: Law No. 354 was approved. Wildlife in Tajikistan shall be exclusive property of the state that ensures protection and efficient management thereof in the interests of the people. By purposeful use wildlife shall be classified as: (a) rare and endangered species; (b) species subject to hunting; (c) species used for other economic purposes as established by the authorized institution; (d) species not used for economic purposes but representing ecological, cultural and other value; (e) species subject to regulation for the prevention of harm to agricultural and domestic animals, and also to environment. Authorized state institution in the sphere of management of the objects of wildlife shall have the following competence (a) compilation of the list of animals prohibited for hunting; (b) establishment of rules and regulations for the protection, rational use and reproduction of wildlife, setting quotas for the use of wildlife; (c) suspension of activities that may damage reproduction sites, migratory routes, and also suppression of illegal hunting; (d) wildlife monitoring. Wildlife management shall be general (use of wildlife species and wildlife products without removal thereof from natural environment) and special (use of wildlife species and wildlife products with removal thereof from natural environment). Special wildlife management shall be carried out in accordance with licence issued in accordance with the procedure established by the national legislation. The authorized state institution by agreement with local self-government shall issue authorization for wildlife management. Priority right of wildlife management shall be granted to land tenants of hunting reserves and natural habitats of wildlife species that are not subject to hunting. Objects of the wildlife may be granted for open-ended use to legal and natural persons by way of allotment of land and assignment of hunting grounds thereto. Managers of the objects of wildlife may grant the objects of wildlife to legal and natural persons on contractual basis. Hunting may be carried out by professional, artisanal and sport hunters. Hunting rights shall be granted fro 18 years of age (for hunting with firearms), 14 years of age (hunting with other authorized hunting gear, by authorized hunting methods, hunting dogs and hunting birds). Hunting rights shall be granted to persons who have passed hunting examination, paid hunting dues and have obtained hunting authorization. Hunting rules and regulations shall be established by the Government. Unauthorized capture and destruction of all types of snakes and other reptiles except for residential areas and resorts shall be prohibited. Capture of snakes and other reptiles shall be carried out exclusively in accordance with permits issued by the authorized wildlife management body. Special wildlife management shall be fee-paying. For the purpose of conservation and reproduction of wildlife species may be imposed the following restrictions: (a)restriction of the period of wildlife management; (b) prohibition of some hunting methods and hunting gear; (c) modification of quotas of removal of wildlife species; (d) restriction of the number of wildlife managers. Hunting shall be incompatible with the purpose of wildlife reserves and shall be prohibited on the territory thereof. In wildlife sanctuaries and in other protected areas some types of wildlife management may be restricted or prohibited. Use of migratory, rare and endangered species for scientific research purpose, with the view of rising up the number thereof shall be allowed in accordance with the permit issued by the authorized wildlife management body. Repopulation, acclimatization and cross-breeding of animals shall be allowed for scientific research and economic purpose in accordance with the conclusion of the competent scientific research organizations and exclusively by permits issued by the authorized wildlife management body. Unauthorized repopulation, acclimatization and cross-breeding of animals shall be prohibited.

2011: The Forest Code was enacted. This Forest Code establishes that its provisions shall be applicable to the unified national forest fund, including land of public forest, unforested land, forest resources and beneficial properties of forest irrespective of land tenure. Forest resources shall be managed and protected with the consideration of multifunctional value of forests, as well as recognition of them as the main means of production in the forestry sector. The forest legislation of the Republic of Tajikistan is based on the following principles: (a) government regulation and control; (b) preservation of biodiversity of forests, natural reserves and areas of natural and cultural heritage; (c) sustainable forest management, for the development and sustainable use of forest resources on the basis of forest management planning; (d) compensation for damage to forest and hunting due to the infringement of acting legislation; (e) availability of information on the state of the forest fund; (f) economic principles and payment for use of forest resources; (g) public participation in the conservation, protection, reproduction and sustainable use of the forest fund; (h) recognition of the national importance of forests performing climate-regulating, environment-forming, soil-protective, water protection and other protective functions. All forests located on the territory of the Republic of Tajikistan, as well as lands of the state forest fund, regardless of the forms of economic activity, shall form a unified forest fund. The unified forest fund includes the state forest fund and the public forest fund. The state forest fund includes natural forests, regardless of their land tenure, forests of artificial origin, which are under the jurisdiction of state bodies, as well as unforested land, which are provided for the needs of forestry. The public forest fund includes forests of artificial origin, planted at the expense of the funds of dekhkan (agricultural) farms, production cooperatives, legal entities, and also at the expense of other non-state economic entities. Forest fund of the Republic of Tajikistan shall be protected from fires, felling and hunting, from harmful insects and other pests that are harmful to the forest. State Forest Service shall be subordinated to the authorized state forest institution and its staff shall be attributed the competence of forest inspectors. The objective of forest management shall be enforcement of legal and technical requirements of rational use of forest resources. State forest fund shall be subject to mandatory inventory, registration and periodical (once in 5 years) monitoring. This Forest Code consists of IX Sections sub-divided into XVI Chapters composed of 75 Articles. Section I is the general part. Chapter I lays down general provisions. Section II regards state management and control of forests. Chapter II regards state management and control of forest funds. Section III regards guardianship and protection of forests. Chapter III regards guardianship and protection of forest funds. Chapter IV regards the State Forest Service. Chapter V establishes the particulars of guardianship, protection, reproduction and sustainable use of forests. Section IV regards organization of forestry sector. Chapter VI establishes tasks and requirements of organization of the forestry sector. Section V regards state forest inventory. Chapter VII regards state forest inventory and forest planning. Section VI regards afforestation, reforestation and raising forest productivity. Chapter VIII regards afforestation and reforestation. Section VII establishes the right of forest ownership. Chapter IX regards forest ownership. Section VIII regards forest uses. Chapter X establishes the criteria for joint forest management. Chapter XI establishes the right of forest use. Chapter XII regards management of forest funds. Section IX establishes economic mechanisms of forest management. Chapter XIII regards the forestry economy. Chapter XIV regards financing of the forestry sector. Chapter XV regards international cooperation. Chapter XVI lays down final provisions.

2011: Law No. 760 “on environmental protection" was introduced. This Law establishes legal grounds of state policy in the sphere of environmental protection and is aimed at ensuring sustainable development, healthy and favourable environment, prevention of negative environmental impact, ecological safety and rational use of natural resources. The present Law regulates the relations connected with interaction of the society and environment, arising during the implementation of economic and other environmental impact related activities on the territory of the Republic of Tajikistan. The organizational basis of the state policy in the field of environmental protection shall be programs, strategies and plans for environmental protection developed by the authorized state body of the Republic of Tajikistan in the area of environmental protection and approved by the Government. The following are subject to protection against pollution, spoilage, damage, depletion, destruction and economic and other activities by natural and legal persons: (a) land, subsoil, soils; (b) surface and underground water; (c) atmospheric air, the ozone layer of the Earth; and (d) fauna and flora, including forests all species of biodiversity, as well as genetic fund thereof. State nature reserves and buffer zones, state nature sanctuaries, nature sanctuaries, and national parks, dendrological parks, botanical gardens and forest reserves are subject to special protection.

2012: Law No. 817 “On plant protection" was introduced. This Law establishes legal, economic and organizational basis for plant protection, including crops, against pests, diseases and weeds. The main tasks of state policy in the sphere of plant protection shall be: (a) to ensure favorable phytosanitary situation; (b) prevention of negative impact of pesticides on human and animal health, agricultural products and environment in the process of application of phytosanitary arrangements; and (c) ensuring food security. Authorized state institution in the sphere of plant protection shall carry out the following tasks: (a) phytosanitary monitoring of hazardous organisms; (b) testing and approbation of pesticides; and (c) testing of agricultural products for the presence of maximum residue limit (MRL) of pesticides, nitrites and salt of heavy metals. Phytosanitary monitoring of particularly hazardous organisms shall be a state monopoly.

2013: Law No. 1021 “On fish farming, fisheries, and protection of fish stocks" was instituted. This Law sets forth the legal basis for activities in the field of fish farming, fisheries and protection of fish stocks, and is aimed at providing the population with fish and fish products, by fish farming and protection of natural habitat of fish stocks. This Law shall pursue the following objectives: (a) ensuring substantiated, rational use and protection of fish resources, natural habitats thereof, with a view of ensuring food security; (b) prevention of the infringement of fishing rules and prevention of illegal catch of fish; (c) establishment of principles and mechanisms for the implementation of state policy and public support aimed at the conservation of fish resources, the promotion of fish farming and fisheries enterprises and increase in fish production; (d) prevention of reduction of fish output and ensuring conservation and reproduction of fish resources; (e) prevention, reduction and elimination of freshwater pollution and of the natural habitats of fish resources by collection and discharge to environment of hazardous substances.

Featured Case Studies: Transnational Environmental Crime, Human Security, and Biosecurity

  • In 2020, The U.S.  Embassy Dushanbe Public Affairs Section (PAS) of the U.S. Department of State has announced that it would dedicate funding to the Embassy’s Environmental Awareness and Action Campaign, a program seeking to raise awareness about significant threats to the  environment in  Tajikistan and promote civic action to help address these problems.The program would support environmental protection and community activism to preserve Tajikistan’s natural beauty, promote economic development through the tourism sector, and protect the  health and security of the population. Chief among the priority themes was air and water pollution. Air and water pollution have become increasingly serious and dangerous problems for the health of Tajikistan’s population and wildlife, threatening  agriculture, food security, the tourism industry, and the overall economy. Even though Dushanbe has the most consistently polluted air in Central  Asia, few residents are aware of this issue, and even fewer take precautionary measures to protect themselves and their  children’s health. Waste Management is also of paramount concern. Currently, Tajikistan lacks recycling facilities and also suffers from a relatively high level of waste in natural areas, destroying local habitats for wildlife, contaminating water supplies, and reducing the appeal of Tajikistan as a destination for tourists. The campaign will leverage strategic cross-sector partnerships, raising public awareness about waste management problems in Tajikistan, their harmful effects, and what measures can be implemented to address the problems.

References and Further Reading


The Committee for Environmental Protection: info@tajnature.tj