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Afghanistan, FAO and GEF move forward with community-based sustainable land and forest management project

21/09/2018 Kabul, Afghanistan

One of the largest projects to date to better manage land and forest areas in Afghanistan was launched earlier this week through a partnership between the Government, the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

The project will contribute to improving the management of 10 000 hectares of High Conservation Value Forests (HCVFs) and 20 000 hectares of other forest types to increase biodiversity conservation and sequester about one million tonnes of carbon in three provinces. 

The project will also work to improve the management of 200 000 hectares of degraded rangelands in order to reduce land degradation, increase biodiversity conservation and sequester 2.5 million tonnes of carbon.

A National Resource Management Centre of Excellence is planned and once established will coordinate knowledge management and capacity building.

GEF funding is in excess of US$ 10 million while the Government will provide in-kind funding valued at US$ 54 million.

Biggest GEF project in Afghanistan 

“The role of the GEF accredited agencies, such as FAO, is of critical important to mobilize the global environmental fund for Afghanistan,” said Ezatullah Sediqi, Deputy Director General of Afghanistan’s National Environmental Protection Agency.

“This project is of critical importance for Afghanistan as environmental degradation and loss of biodiversity have been severe in the last decades which also impacted agriculture and food security, the project will play important role in the conservation of natural resources such as forest and rangeland,” Hamdullah Hamdard, Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation, and Livestock, said after the launch.

FAO to work as implementing agency

“This is an important project for Afghanistan which will enhance awareness within communities on environmental protection and ways to cope with the effects of climate change affects in Afghanistan,” said Mohammad Aqa, on behalf of Rajendra Aryal, the FAO Representative in Afghanistan. “To meet the growing demands of the population, it is important to conserve and sustainably manage natural resources and ecosystems to ensure that they continue to provide environmental and livelihood benefits.”

This GEF-supported ‘Community-Based Sustainable Land and Forest Management in Afghanistan’ project will operate for six years in Badghis, Bamyan, Kunar, Paktia and Ghazni provinces.

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