5,042,920 (2006 estimate)
488,100 sq km
Ashgabat 605,000 (1999 estimate)
Population growth rate
1.83 percent (2006 estimate)
GDP per capita (U.S.$)
GDP by economic sector
Agriculture, forestry, fishing 21 percent (2003)
Industry 44.6 percent (2003) Services 34.4 percent (2003)
Petroleum, natural gas, sulfur, salt
SPARE and energy in Turkmenistan.
Practice and policy on decentralized energy, school energy educational project SPARE.
Dashoguz Ecological Guardian
In 2000 the Environmental NGO "Dashoguz Ecological Guardians" established SPARE in Turkmenistan. The main goals of the organization is to increase environmental awareness and knowledge as well as getting public attention to energy use, energy economizing, natural resources and environmental protection in Turkmenistan. Because of the political situation in Turkmenistan and the constant surveillance and harassment from the authorities, we have decided to change coordinator for the safety sake of A. Zatoka. Our new contact in Turkmenistan is be Larisa Aranbaeva, whom we met under an arrangement on human rights in Turkmenistan arranged by the Norwegian Helsinki committee in Oslo. She works on development of civil society in Turkmenistan, has experience from educational projects and a good contact network within NGOs and educational sector.
Turkmenistan is made up mainly of desert and has the smallest population of the five former Soviet republics in Central Asia. It possesses the world's fifth largest reserves of natural gas, and has substantial deposits of oil. Yet it is still impoverished, and since independence from the Soviet Union in 1991 has remained largely closed to the outside world. The human rights in Turkmenistan have been heavily criticized by various countries and scholars worldwide. Standards in environment, education and health declined markedly during the rule of President Saparmurat Niyazov. According to Reporters Without Borders' 2006 World Press Freedom Index, Turkmenistan had the 3rd worst press freedom conditions in the world, behind North Korea and Burma. It is considered to be one of the "10 Most Censored Countries" in the world.
Since the late 1980s environmental awareness has been growing in Turkmenistan. The government has a ministry in charge of environmental protection, but only a small portion of the national budget is allocated for this purpose. According to preliminary estimations, greenhouse gas emissions will in 2010 be increased by 62% from the level of 1994. It is directly connected to the increase and consumption of oil and gas resources of Turkmenistan. The Turkmen law on Energy Saving is at the stage of preparation at present. This law declaratively covers all the aspects of energy saving in both energy production and consumption sectors. The Law defines the framework for governing the energy saving policies at the national level. One of priority measures on GHG emission reduction in the energy production and consumption sector is to design enabling mechanisms to implement the Law on Energy Saving.