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Even civil society organisations have contributed by providing information at the grassroots level about how climate change affects people’s daily living and by advising people to observe their environment and instructing them on how to act in emergencies.

Finland’s support has been used to improve weather and air quality monitoring in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.

Economic growth has sparked interest in the environment even in Central Asia as the levels of air pollution increase with the founding of new power and production plants and the growing vehicle fleet.

It was important to establish modern piloting stations for air quality monitoring in both countries.“We have learned a lot in the project.

We are now able to monitor in real time the air quality in the city of Dushanbe,” says Bibizaynab Gozieva, head of the air quality laboratory in Tajikistan.

The institutes will also need long-term external support – from Finland for example – to get prepared for the challenges of climate change and economic development.

Finland has supported the meteorological cooperation project in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan with EUR 1.1 million in 2014–2017.

The projects have helped the staff take a major leap to using modern methods instead of practices dating back to the Soviet Union.

As a result, they are able to provide more accurate, near real-time weather and air quality services.

Stakeholder seminars on climate change have also been organised to uplift the institutes’ profiles. Finland is not the only donor interested in improving the institutes, and several development projects are under way, including a major regional modernisation project funded by the World Bank.

The institutes in the target countries have benefitted greatly from the projects’ synergies.

Global warming has accelerated the melting of glaciers, while environmental problems may influence the glacial ecosystems in ways unknown.