Temps de lecture :2 minutes
With a land area of 652,090 km², Afghanistan is slightly larger than France. Over 43% of Afghanistan, nestled in the heart of Central Asia with a population of 32 million, rises to an elevation of over 1,800 m. The country is in ruins: it is one of the world’s most heavily land mined countries, is peppered with cemeteries, and from 1998 to 2004 experienced one of the most severe droughts on record. Environmental issues are addressed by the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development (MRRD).
Energy: only 6% of Afghans have access to electricity, and rarely on an uninterrupted basis. In Kabul, barely a quarter of the population has access to running water for 8 hours a day. In cold regions, schools are closed for six months due to a lack of heating. The Dahla Dam, a key source of irrigation water, has been in a state of disrepair for several years yet also supplies drinking water for the province of Kandahar.
Deforestation: the forest, which covers 2 to 3% of the country, has been wiped out by bombings, wood smuggling, and local household use.
Soil erosion: a third of once-arable land is now uncultivated. Protection of animals: Afghanistan has four national parks. The country has a larger variety of felids (cats and big cats) than the entire African continent. The Marco Polo sheep and the snow leopard – both endangered species – are threatened by animal trafficking and smuggling.
The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), founded in New York in 1895, is active in the country.
The Mine Action Program for Afghanistan, established in 1989, is the oldest program of its kind in the world. Its team of 8,500 employees working in seven regional offices has cleared some 1.3 billion m³ of land, resulting in the destruction of over 350,000 anti-personnel mines and 12,000 tonnes of munitions (UN figures).