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Afghanistan impacts climate least but is a worst victim: NEPA

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Afghanistan’s role is below 0.5pc in climate change and pollution, yet it is the worst victim, says NEPA. As a victim of climate change, Afghanistan seeks $17 billion assistance from international community to protect climate.”

By Farhad Naibkhel

KABUL: The National Environmental Protection Agency (NEPA) on Tuesday said that Afghanistan has the lowest (below 0.5 percent) role in spreading greenhouse gases and climate change but suffers most from the climate change.

The deputy director of NEPA, Abdul Wali Modaqiq, said that NEPA has formulated a mechanism to fight climate change affects and seek international community’s assistance.

Speaking at a press conference here he said, “Afghanistan as a victim of climate change seeks $17 billion assistance from international community to protect climate. The funds would be spent to launch special programs and decrease greenhouse gases emission by 13 percent till 2030.”

Afghanistan seeks ways to provide people with clean energy to decrease spreading of gases that negatively impact the climate change, he asserted.

“Afghanistan has suffered enough from climate change. We have witnessed droughts, floods and water contamination in the recent year. Cultivable lands, pastures and forests are the resources which handle life. They are also affected by climate changes,” he added.

Abdul Wali Modaqiq said that Afghanistan should be supported; otherwise, it would fail to follow the programs to decrease spreading of greenhouse gases in future.

Elaborating the environmental protection agency’s plan, he said that NEPA would also run awareness campaigns increase knowledge of people about climate change and encourage them to protect the environment.

He said that only NEPA would be unable to deal with the situation and would fail to overcome the issues of climate change and pollution in Afghanistan, if other relevant organizations failed to support the environmental protection agency and extent all out support.

It is worth to mention here that President Muhammad Ashraf Ghani has participated in the Paris Climate Change Conference to express the commitment of Afghanistan in combating the climate change.

In April this year, NEPA and Ministry of Urban Development marked the International Earth Day at Baghe-e Babar in Kabul with great zeal. Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Abdullah Abdullah also participated in the one-day conference aimed at to build support for environmental protection.

The chief executive said the government is committed to protect the environment and would bring in use all available resources in this regard. He urged the citizens to keep their surroundings clean and green as it was their moral and social duty.

He said that family as a basic unit of society comes first to keep environment clean, then mosques and schools. Abdullah said that attention should be paid to protect the environment from harms caused by humans.

Local media has been criticized for being reluctant to create awareness among people about protection of environment and wildlife.

  1. Nadeem Alizai, an analyst, said that most of Afghans know that President Ashraf Ghani and Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had met at the sidelines of the climate change conference in Paris, but very few know that why the Afghan president is there.

“It is failure of media to tell the public that President Ghani is there to discuss the climate change and assure that Afghanistan will play its role to reduce the emission of gases that are destroying ozone and are responsible for the climate change,” the concerned analyst said.

He added that NEPA is doing its best to protect the agency but lack the required funds. “Despite having minimum resources, the NEPA has established a biggest natural park in Badakhshan to protect wildlife. The environmental protection agency also worked hard to collect data on the endangered species. Data is necessary for planning to protect the species,” he maintained.

Criticizing the government he said that authorities are more concerned about political, economical and security issues and had put the challenge of climate change on the backburner.

He added that the previous government was very active in protecting the environment and wildlife. “The former president Hamid Karzai was very concerned about the environmental and wildlife protection. He issued a decree banning hunting of the wildlife. He also encouraged public through radio speeches to protect the nature. Unfortunately, this government is not really concerned about the climate, forests or ecological system,” M. Nadeem Alizai lamented.

People should take care of birds, plants, forests, rivers and animals as they take care of us. Protection of environment is not a job of one person, group or institute but of all and sundry, he suggested.