Having lost most of its forest cover in the war, Afghanistan is now on the path of recovery. Additionally, the absence of governance in times of conflict gave leeway to the Timber Mafia. Their activities resulted in the rapid deforestation of pine and pistachio trees.
The National Environment Protection Agency (NEPA) Director, gave a statement on the occasion. In his statement, he said that they had managed to restore the level of forest cover across the country.
Forest Distribution in Afghanistan
Pistachio woodlands are common to the Badghes region. Whereas Pine Trees are more common in Easter Afghanistan, in provinces like Kunar, Nuristan, Paktia and Paktika.
A report on Post-conflict Environmental Assessment by the United Nations Environment Program indicated that most of the vegetation occurs in the eastern region. Additionally, during the conflict Afghanistan lost nearly 50% – 80% of its forests.
Furthermore, according to a 2004 report by the US AID for International Development, Pistachio woodlands saw a great decline. This decline was a result of overgrazing and cutting of trees.
Nasiri said, “A mass planting drive under which Afghanistan would plant at least 25 million more trees this spring and encourage and promote the deep-rooted culture of gardening and farming through various initiatives and incentives.”
‘A Tree for Yourself a Tree for Homeland’
Teams of NEPA and experts from the Agriculture Ministry have begun dispatching seeds and saplings to all 34 provinces to save the country’s forests. Provincial governments are inviting people to selective spots and encouraging tree plantation campaigns.
Moreover, farmers and gardeners have also been encouraged to bring their products to the city markets. Consequently, these efforts have resulted in the recovery of 3% of the land’s forests.