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This three-year program improves the livelihoods of the rural poor in northeastern and central Afghanistan by building Afghanistan’s capacity to sustainably manage its natural resources. This is done while also strengthening linkages between local communities and regional and national government bodies, thereby improving governance. The program focuses on two geographic areas, Band-e-Amir National Park and the Hazarajat Plateau of Bamyan province, and the Wakhan Corridor of Badakhshan province.
As stated by Mohammad Wafa, a ranger in the Wakhan Corridor, “this project is not only important for us rangers and our community, we hope it will show the world that Afghanistan is truly rebuilding.”
The program also includes a national capacity building component involving the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation, and Livestock (MAIL) and the National Environment Protection Authority (NEPA). The program aims to achieve its overall objectives through work in five thematic areas: (1) securing sustainable employment for local communities; (2) building stronger community governance so that citizens can better manage natural resources and profit from them; (3) building technical capacity for natural resource management; (4) working in support of laws and policies that ensure effective natural resource management and equitable revenue sharing from natural resource development; and, (5) reducing conflict and disease transmission between wildlife, domestic animals, and people.
- Promoting tourism in Band-e-Amir National Park and Mount Noshaq to attract visitors and create jobs.
- Training park rangers, developing ranger stations, delivering environmental education programs, and implementing park conservation activities.
- Distributing and evaluating locally-made fuel-efficient stoves.
- Helping communities manage livestock through livestock insurance programs, vaccination programs, partnerships to construct predator-proof corrals, and livestock health assessments.
- Supporting MAIL and NEPA to create and develop the Afghanistan Parks and Wildlife Authority.
- Helping community groups govern natural resources in collaboration with the Afghan government.
- Conducting an Environmental Education Program in schools throughout the program area.
- Implementing a community conservation outreach program throughout local communities.
- Training veterinarians and other wildlife professionals on management and research techniques.
RESULTS TO DATE
- 3,216 households have benefitted from program interventions, including the distribution of 2,577 fuel-efficient stoves
- 7,222 people are now seeing the direct economic benefits from the program
- 86 communities now participate in locally-formed committees to make decisions on natural resource management, organize benefit-sharing systems, and liaise with Afghan ministries on behalf of community interests. For some, this is their first experience with government services
- 573,247 hectares of land are now being managed more sustainably than in the past
- 21,307 people have received training on natural resource management, ecotourism, English language, technology, and/or governance and community engagement,
- 20,621 livestock have been vaccinated and several predator-proof corrals have been constructed
- Established an Afghanistan Parks and Wildlife Authority Oversight Group.
Last updated: October 15, 2013