Environmental Protection for Community Resilience
Afghanistan’s environment and natural resource base is under great pressure. The decades of conflict, on-going instability, lack of effective governance and service delivery, socio-economic insecurity and overall poverty, susceptibility to droughts and other natural hazards, population increase and influx of displaced and returning population, have all exacted a heavy toll on the environment and the natural resource base of the country. Over 80% of the Afghan population lives in rural areas practicing agricultural and related rural activities that rely heavily on use of natural resources.
The country is prone to natural disasters like floods and droughts that often cause human casualty, property damage, and crops destruction – poor being the worst victims of this. Harsh winters cause serious sufferings for the poor populations and their economic activities get almost stranded during the winter season. The focus of interventions, in this area to-date, has been on immediate humanitarian assistance as post disaster response.
Climate change implications are now quite visible in precipitation and temperature regime resulting in prolonged and more frequent droughts and floods. Especially dry season water availability has been significantly reduced which is directly impacting agricultural productivity. Erratic rainfall and temperature is not only affecting the agricultural (including horticulture) productivity – putting additional stress on food security especially for the poor – but it is also affecting public health situation which is ultimately causing economic loss and undoing developmental benefits.
To be sustainable, economic growth cannot be achieved at the cost of environmental and natural resource degradation. APWD understands from its long experience, of working for and with communities, that if all the natural resource bases including land, water, ecosystems, and minerals are managed properly and an enabling environment including legal, policy, and strategic frameworks exist in the country, the NRM, Environment, and Energy sectors will flourish. This could be instrumental in reducing poverty, avoiding conflict, building peace, and enhance community resilience.
This is a key area of focus for APWDO and are we are seeking partnerships opportunities for addressing the environmental challenges of the country. Currently, we avail the services of environmental experts who bring along extensive experience in designing and implementing programs in the area of environmental protection and communities’ resilience.
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