Islamic Emirate at a Glance

Islamic Emirate at a Glance (Part 22) Summary of the Most Significant Accomplishments of the Islamic Emirate (2022 – 2023) By: H.N Environmental Protection One of the key priorities of the National Environmental Protection Agency is the prevention and reduction of any environmental pollutants. These pollutants encompass surface and groundwater, air, soil, medical and industrial […]

Islamic Emirate at a Glance

(Part 22)

Summary of the Most Significant Accomplishments of the Islamic Emirate

(2022 – 2023)

By: H.N

Environmental Protection

One of the key priorities of the National Environmental Protection Agency is the prevention and reduction of any environmental pollutants. These pollutants encompass surface and groundwater, air, soil, medical and industrial waste, sewage, and other contaminating sources. Accordingly, efforts have been undertaken to amend industrial and production activities, commercial establishments, and various urban trades in the central and provincial regions. The principal achievements in this regard are outlined below:

A: Prevention of Air Pollution

To prevent and mitigate air pollution, activities emitting air pollutants such as high-rise residential buildings, wedding halls, factories, brick kilns, refineries, bathhouses, and various trades in central and provincial areas have been scrutinized. Over the past year, 14,000 activities were examined, approximately 3,500 of which underwent reevaluation, while others received notifications and warnings to rectify and standardize their operations.

B: Control of Medical Waste

Medical waste is among the hazardous and harmful waste that poses a serious threat to human health, animals, and the environment. To regulate and control medical waste, the following measures have been taken during the past one year:

• Establishment of control and inspection teams to monitor the status of medical waste in health centers at the central and provincial levels.

• Supervision and control of 235 government and private clinics and hospitals.

• Oversight and control of 176 examination centers and pharmacies.

• Monitoring and control of 236 health centers.

C: Establishment of a National Committee for Ozone-Depleting Substances Allocation

The National Environmental Protection Agency has established a committee comprised of relevant departments to ensure transparency in the distribution of Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) allocations. In the past year, this committee distributed 250 metric tons of HCFCs to applicant companies for ozone-depleting substances in accordance with prescribed criteria and indicators.

D: Supervision and Prevention of Ozone-Depleting Substance Smuggling in the Country’s Ports

To prevent the smuggling of ozone-depleting substances in the country’s ports, the following measures have been taken:

• Obtaining written commitments from all applicant companies that have received licenses for the import of ozone-depleting substances, ensuring that these substances are only imported through a designated port in compliance with the allocated quota.

• Prevention of the illegal entry of 78 balloons at the country’s customs.

• Arrangement of checklists for HCFCs and lists of compounds subject to the Montreal Protocol, including chemical name, trade name, global warming potential, and customs identification, to better detect and identify these substances.

E: Attainment of a $30 Million Allocation Commitment for Afghanistan

The National Environmental Protection Agency has secured a financial commitment of $10 million from the Global Environmental Facility under the STAR Allocation program for Afghanistan, which encompasses three sectors: climate change, biodiversity, and desertification.

In addition, a commitment of $20 million has been obtained from the Least Developed Countries Fund for infrastructure projects, health, disaster resilience, livelihoods, and food security, allocated until 2026 and accessible.

Given these commitments, the National Environmental Protection Agency has collected 13 proposed projects from relevant departments in the areas of climate change, biodiversity, desertification, transboundary waters, forests, infrastructure, health, natural disaster resilience, livelihoods, and food security. The agency intends to plan for environmental projects in the designated sectors through improvement measures.

Another achievement in environmental projects is the continued practical implementation of the Forest and Land Sustainable Management Project, which has been ongoing under the Islamic Emirate’s governance in the provinces of Kunar, Paktia, Bamyan, Ghazni, and Badghis, with a budget of $10 million funded by the Global Environment Facility.

Furthermore, the initiation of practical work on the GEF-7 project through strengthening sustainable food production systems in Afghanistan is another accomplishment, with a budget of approximately $7 million funded by the Global Environmental Facility.

F: Prevention of Wildlife Trafficking

Afghanistan is a member of the South Asian Wildlife Enforcement Network. Consequently, efforts have been made to curb the illegal trafficking and hunting of wildlife in consideration of regional commitments, yielding tangible results in terms of seizures and release of confiscated wildlife.

G: Prevention of Trafficking of Wild Animals and Birds

In the past year, approximately 500 species of birds, animals, and reptiles have been reintroduced into their natural habitats. Among these, there were 442 wild bird wings and 51 sets of wild animal collars, which include rare animals and birds. It is prohibited by environmental law to seize, transfer, buy, or sell them.

H: Prevention of Trafficking of Alpine Plants

Alpine plants play a significant and prominent role in preserving soil structure and preventing soil erosion in nature, as well as providing suitable habitats for a number of living organisms.

In order to preserve and protect wild alpine vegetation, the National Environmental Protection Agency, in collaboration with the security forces of the Islamic Emirate, in targeted provinces such as Helmand, Nimroz, Kandahar, Samangan, and other relevant areas, has confiscated 500 packages of wild alpine vegetation and 8 loaded trucks carrying felled trees. The perpetrators have been dealt with legally.

Preservation of Afghanistan’s Ancient and Historical Heritage

Afghanistan stands as a nation steeped in antiquity and historical significance. However, across various epochs, its ancient artifacts have suffered destruction and illicit trafficking due to conflict and external interventions. In an endeavor to safeguard, conserve, restore, and prevent the smuggling of these invaluable relics, the Ministry of Information and Culture has undertaken several initiatives. Through exploration and research efforts, new archaeological sites have been unearthed. The most significant accomplishments in this domain over the past year include:

• The identification and scholarly assessment of 100 ancient sites spanning across 16 provinces, with the discovery of an additional 60 previously unknown archaeological sites.

• The meticulous compilation of 100 GIS maps detailing these archaeological sites for scholarly and preservation purposes.

• The comprehensive preservation effort at the Mes Aynak archaeological site in Logar province, involving the careful cleaning and cataloging of 142 designated sites, as well as the registration of 2,600 pottery shards, which have since been transferred to the Logar National Museum.

• The thorough cleaning and examination of 298 copper coins, along with the assessment of 61 diverse artifacts from Nangarhar province and 36 artifacts from Takhar province, culminating in their formal submission to the Afghan National Museum.

• The responsible transfer of 3,280 silver and copper coins from Nangarhar for further authentication and study at the Afghan National Museum.

• The innovative 3D modeling of 90 diverse artifacts, enhancing both preservation efforts and scholarly research.

• The facilitation of collaboration with international archaeologists and journalists to identify and highlight significant historical and cultural sites, thus promoting Afghanistan’s rich cultural heritage on the global stage.

• The formalization of a MoU with a reputable Chinese company for the stabilization and excavation of Mes Aynak archaeological sites in Logar province.

• The meticulous identification and classification of 1,226 artifacts from various historical periods by dedicated personnel from the Afghan National Museum and security officials stationed at Kabul Customs and Airport.

• The diligent registration and classification of 500 historical artifacts from different epochs, ensuring their inclusion and documentation within the national museum database for posterity.


Reference: IEA’s Accomplishments