During the Soviet era, the local population in the mountains of Tajikistan got coal for free to heat their homes. That changed with the collapse of the Soviet Union. The free and plentiful supply of coal dried up, plunging Tajikistan into an energy crisis. The region of Gorno-Badakhshan was especially hard hit. In order to heat their homes, people resorted to cutting down the trees, damaging the region's entire ecosystem. An environment project now aims to restore the forests and help the impoverished population make sustainable use of the trees. In addition, a cooperative for skilled crafts and trade has been set up to manufacture energy-efficient doors and windows. With the help of microcredits, an increasing number of people can now modernize their homes.