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Afghanistan declares third nationally protected area

In celebration of World Environment Day 2015, UNEP and Afghanistan’s National Environment Protection Agency hosted a week of events in the Central Highlands to raise awareness and bring together a broad spectrum of stakeholders around the topics of climate change and environmental resilience.

Activities for Afghanistan’s Environment Week, which lasted from 5-9 June, included a field visit with senior government officials to Band-e Amir, treks in the iconic landscape of the Koh-e Baba mountain and conferences on climate change and resilience in Bamyan and Daikundi provinces. The events brought together more than 150 participants from government, civil society, and academia to address the country’s urgent environmental needs.

World Environment Day itself saw Afghanistan’s National Environmental Protection Agency officially declare the Shah Foladi region the country’s third and newest protected area. The area, part of the larger Koh-e Baba Mountain Range in the Central Highlands, is one of Afghanistan’s most beautiful and fascinating landscapes. Home to a diverse range of endemic plant and animal species, the region is of recognized importance globally as a key area for more than 270 species of migratory birds. The area is not only of natural significance but cultural too, situated near the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Bamyan city.

Since 2002, UNEP has supported the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to conserve and protect its environment and natural heritage. These latest activities form part of UNEP’s ‘Building Environmental Resilience in Afghanistan’ programme, made possible by the generous support of the Global Environment Facility, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, the UK’s Department for International Development, the European Commission and the Ministry of Environment of Estonia.

For more information: see UNEP’s Afghanistan page here
or contact Sophie Brown, UNEP-PCDMB’s Communications Advisor at

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