UN agency helps Afghanistan develop pioneering environmental legislation

3 January 2006

Laws aimed at protecting Afghanistan’s wildlife, waterways and forests, believed to be the first legal conservation tools in the country, have been developed by the Government with assistance from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the agency announced today.

Laws aimed at protecting Afghanistan’s wildlife, waterways and forests, believed to be the first legal conservation tools in the country, have been developed by the Government with assistance from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the agency announced today.

“The Environment Act is the cornerstone for the development of an effective and integrated environmental management regime that secures environmentally sound sustainable development and use of natural resources, while still promoting economic and social well-being and development, Klaus Toepfer, UNEP's Executive Director, said.

“If we are to help deliver a stable future for this country and for countries across the globe, the environment must be factored into rehabilitation and future planning,” he added. “For the environment is not a luxury but the basis for economic development and livelihoods.”

According to UNEP, over 80 per cent of Afghanistan's population relies directly on the natural resource base to meet its daily needs, but two decades of conflict, exacerbated by a recent drought, have heavily damaged the country’s natural resource base.

The new Environmental Act, developed in partnership with the World Conservation Union and international experts, consists of the frameworks needed to manage Afghanistan's natural resources in a sustainable way, and to rehabilitate its damaged environment. The Act also clarifies institutional responsibilities and contains compliance and enforcement provisions.

In other news from Afghanistan, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) announced today that 130 former officer and soldiers are graduating from the vocational training provided by the New Beginning Programme (ANBP) which aims to reintegrate ex-military into civilian life.

The graduation ceremony for the training, which is provided by the non-governmental organization (NGO) World Vision, will take place Wednesday in Kabul.

Finally, the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) is coordinating the provision of blankets and stoves to areas of the northern part of the country battered by heavy rains in the last few days.

 

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