The Kyrgyz Republic, also known as Kyrgyzstan, is a landlocked country in Central Asia that is characterized by mountainous terrain and extreme weather conditions. Kyrgyzstan has a population of approximately 5.6 million people (as of 2013), most of whom live in rural areas. 45 percent of the Kyrgyz population depends on agricultural production as a source of livelihood, and the agricultural sector accounts for nearly 15 percent of the GDP. Nearly half of Kyrgyz people are unemployed, and approximately 40 percent live under the national poverty line.
Climate change poses a number of threats in Kyrgyzstan, given the country’s limited water supplies and high reliance on agriculture. According to Maplecroft’s Climate Change Vulnerability Risk Index, Kyrgyzstan is among the most vulnerable countries in Central Asia in terms of climate impacts. In future years, weather patterns are expected to become more extreme, with increased temperatures countrywide. This will translate to glacier retreat, which will affect water supply and impact agricultural stability, potentially leading to widespread effects on population segments who depend on agriculture for subsistence and livelihood. Additionally, 90 percent of electricity in Kyrgyzstan currently comes from hydropower, which is likely to be affected by climate impacts to water resources.
Most of Kyrgyzstan’s population resides in the country’s valleys and foothills, which are the most hospitable regions and account for only 20%of its total landmass.
In recent years, the Government of Kyrgyzstan has taken steps for development of a new model of sustainable development. The National Sustainable Development Strategy, Program and Plan for the transition of the Kyrgyz Republic to Sustainable Development for 2013-2017 will focus on improving management of natural resources, reducing negative environmental impacts resulting from economic activity, biodiversity and lands conservation, and promotion of low-carbon development pathways. To enable further action on this plan, Kyrgyzstan approached CIF in 2015 to receive PPCR funding. CIF will partner with ADB, EBRD, and the World Bank Group to invest in projects aiming at climate adaptation and capacity building across all economic sectors. In particular, PPCR funds will be used to build climate resilience in the agricultural, water, and energy sectors, and to enhance capacity for climate adaptation at the institutional level.