FAO in Afghanistan

The launch of the Global Environmental Facility Project (GEF) Community- Based Sustainable Land and Forest Management in Afghanistan


Kabul, September 17, 2018 - The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) together with the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL), the National Environment Protection Agency (NEPA), the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development (MRRD) and other stakeholders officially launched the GEF project, “Community-Based Sustainable Land and Forest Management in Afghanistan”.

H.E. Hamdullah Hamdard, the Acting Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Livestock officially opened the workshop. At the opening, the Acting Deputy Minister said: “the project is of critical importance for Afghanistan as environmental degradation and loss of biodiversity have been severe in the last decades which also affected the agriculture and food security, the project will play an important role in the conservation of natural resources such as forest and rangeland”.

Mr. Mohammad Aqa, Assistant FAO Representative (Programme) said: “this is an important project for us which will enhance awareness within communities on environmental protection and to cope with the climate change effects in Afghanistan.”  He also added that “to meet the growing demands of the population, it is very important to conserve and sustainably manage natural resources and ecosystems to ensure that they continue to provide environmentally and livelihood benefits.”

H.E. Ezatullah Sediqi, the Deputy Director General of NEPA was also present in the workshop, he said: “the role of the GEF Accredited agencies such as FAO is of critical importance to mobilize the global environmental fund for Afghanistan.”

Mr. Mohammad Rafi Qazizada, Director General of Natural Resource Management (NRM) and other honourable guests from Government, UN Agencies and Development partners also attended the project inception workshop.

This is the biggest GEF project in Afghanistan with a total budget of USD 64.5 million, out of which USD 10.5 million is funded by GEF and USD 54 million is the Government’s in-kind contribution.  As an implementing agency of GEF, FAO is ready to work jointly with the government of Afghanistan and other key stakeholders to implement this project, which addresses the critical nexus between agriculture, rural development, and the environment.

This is a six years project, which will cover five provinces of Badghis, Bamyan, Kunar, Paktia and Ghazni in Afghanistan.

The project will contribute to improving the management of 10,000 ha of High Conservation Value Forests (HCVFs) and 20,000 ha of other forest types to increase biodiversity conservation and sequester about 1 million tonne carbon in Badghis, Paktya and Kunar Provinces. It will improve the management of 200,000 ha of degraded rangelands in order to reduce land degradation, increase biodiversity conservation and sequester 2.5 million tonnes of carbon in Badghis, Bamyan and Ghazni Provinces. At the same time, this project will build a NRM Centre of Excellence to coordinate knowledge management and capacity building.