Reforestation in Afghanistan
Title: Forest Landscape Restoration in Afghanistan
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL), General Directorate of Natural Resource Management (GD-NRM)
Overall term: 2019 to 2020
Today’s Afghanistan is a country with no intact forests. Decades of conflict and the overexploitation of natural resources by the impoverished population have destroyed original natural landscapes. The situation is exacerbated by climate change. Almost half of the population of Afghanistan is affected year after year by the increasing frequency of natural disasters.
Up to now, there have been only isolated initiatives that preserve natural resources at a local level and, at the same time, offer the impoverished population a liveable environment. For this reason, these activities now need to be intensified, concentrated, expanded and made more effective by means of an integrated landscape approach.
Degraded and deforested landscapes in Afghanistan have been restored and offer prospects for enhancing local livelihoods.
The project contributes to the implementation of Afghanistan’s strategy for the management of natural resources. It operates in the provinces of Badakhshan, Khost, Paktia, Samangan and Takhar in four fields of activity:
- Restoring forest landscapes at village level: The project is developing plans for the restoration of landscapes in cooperation with the local population. Conflicts in the areas of pasture management and reforestation are to be resolved in order to facilitate long-term forest regeneration. The planting of forest trees, shrubs, fruit and nut trees, herbaceous plants and grasses is planned.
- Enhancing resilience among people to natural disasters: Terraces to control erosion and dams to control floods are being built. New species of trees and cultivated fruits are being introduced to help the people survive longer periods of drought. Permanent jobs are being created for both men and women by setting up local tree nurseries in women’s shelters. Wood-saving stoves will reduce the consumption of firewood.
- Improving the institutional framework for the sustainable use of natural resources: Village committees are being strengthened with the aim of helping communities to preserve natural resources. Support is being provided to the relevant authorities at provincial and national levels to improve coordination and to develop joint strategies and implementation concepts.
- Strengthening the capacity of important actors in the restoration of forest landscapes: In this regard, the project is developing sector-specific training measures for the sustainable use of forest-related resources. The activities here concentrate on the establishment of long-term measures at vocational schools and universities and on practical training for forestry and agricultural advisors and other participants.