United Nations Environment Programme

Post-Conflict Environmental Assessment - Afghanistan


Courtesy of United Nations Environment Programme

In the capital of Afghanistan there is a saying: May Kabul be without gold rather than without snow. For most of the country’s people the land, its biological resources and its ecological processes are the source of their livelihood and the foundation for their existence. Apart from the country’s most arid deserts and frozen mountains, virtually the entire land surface of Afghanistan has been used for centuries – whether for local farming or, on a more wide-reaching basis, for livestock grazing, fuelwood collection and hunting.

Tragically, the combined pressures of warfare, civil disorder, lack of governance and drought have taken a major toll on Afghanistan’s natural and human resources. These impacts have exacerbated a more general and long-standing process of land degradation, evidence of which is apparent throughout much of the country. As the country’s natural resource base has declined, its vulnerability to natural disasters and food shortages has increased.

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