Environmental issues in Afghanistan predate the political turmoil of the past few decades. Forests and wetlands have been depleted by centuries of grazing and farming, practices which have only increased with modern population growth. In Afghanistan, environmental conservation and economic concerns are not at odds; with 80% of the population dependent on herding or farming, the welfare of the environment is critical to the economic welfare of the people. In 2007, the World Health Organization released a report ranking Afghanistan lowest among non-African nations in deaths from environmental hazards.
3 Water shortages
4 Urban pollution
4.1 Domestic and industrial waste
4.2 Air pollution
5 See also
A village in Badghis province
The population depends on forests for fuelwood and the revenue generated by export of pistachios and almonds, which grow in natural woodlands in the central and northern regions. The Badghis and Takhar provinces have lost more than 50% of pistachio woodland. During the conflicts of the past few decades, residents and military forces have used wood for fuel, and the military forces have cleared trees which could have provided hiding places for ambushes from opposing forces. Further, the use of the woodlands for grazing ground and the collection of nuts for export apparently prevent new pistachio trees from growing.
Denser forests in the eastern Nangarhar, Kunar and Nuristan provinces are at risk from timber harvesting by timber barons." Although the logging is illegal, profits from exporting the timber abroad are very high.
As forest cover decreases, the land becomes less productive, threatening the livelihood of the rural population. Loss of vegetation also creates to a higher risk of floods, which not only endanger the people, but cause soil erosion and decrease the amount of land available for...