World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Agency to Help Afghanistan Combat Effects of Climate Change

UN Environmental Agency to Help Afghanistan Combat Effects of Climate Change

New York, Oct 11 2012 6:10PM The United Nations is to help Afghanistan combat the effects of climate change, teaming up with the country’s Government to implement a $6 million initiative that aims to operate in vulnerable communities and shore up the ability of Afghan institutions to independently address risks posed by changes to the climate, the world body’s environmental agency announced today.

The scheme is the first of its kind in the landlocked country, where four-fifths of the population is directly dependent on natural resources for income and sustenance, but where disasters and extreme weather events – including drought, sandstorms, and harsh winters – have affected more than 6.7 million people since 1998.

The UN Environment Programme (UNEP), which will serve as the lead UN agency involved in the initiative, identified Afghanistan as one of the countries most vulnerable to climate change because of the potential impacts and the Afghan Government’s current limited capacity to react to those impacts.

The initiative’s interventions will include improved water management and use efficiency; community-based watershed management; improved terracing, agro-forestry and agro-silvo pastoral systems; climate-related research and early warning systems; improved food security; and rangeland management.

Watershed management activities at village level will include tree-planting, the terracing of slopes or the gathering of wild seeds to re-plant over-grazed mountainsides. Education and the development of vocational skills for the communities will also play a key role in this project, according to UNEP.

The Afghan Government will serve as a partner through the country’s National Environmental Protection Agency (NEPA), UNEP said in a news release, with most of the funding coming from the Global Environment Facility (GEF), a UN-backed entity that unites 182 countries in partnership with international institutions, civil society organizations and the private sector to address global environmental issues while supporting national sustainable development initiatives.

“The Government of Afghanistan is showing a remarkable commitment to working with communities for a landscape approach to dealing with climate change in the country,” said the UN Afghanistan Resident Coordinator, Michael Keating, speaking from Bamyan in Afghanistan’s Central Highlands, some 200 kilometres west of the capital, Kabul.

“We also welcome the opportunity to help Afghan institutions better deal with shocks and hazards, and increase resilience at a decentralized level,” he added.

During severe droughts from 1998 to 2006, and again in 2008-2009, the country suffered significant losses of crops, including wheat, rice, maize and potato. According to UNEP, climate change is predicted to cause an increase in mean annual temperatures, a decrease in mean annual rainfall, and an increase in the intensity of rainfalls – despite an overall decrease in precipitation.

“Many of the agricultural activities in Afghanistan are dependent on the flow of rivers that originate in the Central Highlands area,” UNEP <"http://www.unep.org/newscentre/Default.aspx?DocumentID=2697&ArticleID=9300&l=en">stated. “However, natural ecosystems throughout the country are very fragile, and the degrading effects of increasing human activity in many areas are worsened by current climatic variability, mainly frequent droughts and extreme weather-induced floods and erosion.”

The initiative will be implemented in four locations: Badakhshan in the northeast, Balkh in the north, through the Koh-e Baba to Bamyan and Daikundi in the Central Highlands.

Climate change adaptation is especially important in developing nations, since those countries are “predicted to bear the brunt of climate change effects,” UNEP said in the news release, noting that “the overarching goal is to reduce the vulnerability of biological systems to these impacts.”

UNEP’s key partners on the ground in the Central Asian nation include the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP) supported by the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), working together with the USAID-funded Biodiversity Programme of the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and local Afghan organizations and communities.
Oct 11 2012 6:10PM

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

As Health Needs Rise In Somalia, Funding Hits New Low

As health needs rise in Somalia, funding hits new low, cutting off 1.5 million from care – UN More>>

Need To End Violence Against Children In Conflict

‘We should be outraged’ more not being done to end violence against children in conflict – UNICEF chief More>>

On Mandela Day, UN Joins Call To Promote Community Service

Nelson Mandela, then Deputy President of the African National Congress of South Africa, raises his fist in the air while addressing the Special Committee Against Apartheid in the General Assembly Hall. UN Photo/P. Sudhakaran More>>

Some $3.2 Billion Needed For Ebola Recovery Efforts

Some $3.2 billion needed for Ebola recovery efforts in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone – UN More>>

World Day: UN Spotlights Plight Of Vulnerable Populalations

Syrian refugees fleeing the fighting near the Syrian city of Kobani wait in a holding area before boarding buses in Turkey (September 2014). Photo: UNHCR /I. Prickett More>>

Afghanisatan: Direct Talks Between Government And Taliban

The United Nations Security Council has welcomed the recently held direct talks between Afghan Government and Taliban representatives as a step towards “peace and reconciliation” in the region. More>>

Eradicating World Hunger By 2030

Agriculture workers collect carrots on a farm in Chimaltenango, Guatemala. Photo: World Bank/Maria Fleischmann More>>

Bangladesh: Flood Leads To UN Agency Providing Food Relief

Anwar Hossain unloads cartons of High Energy Biscuits from a pickup truck and transfers them to a distribution center in Kawar Khop union, Ramu upazila, Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. Photo: WFP/Kamrul Mithon More>>

Ban Says World Must Act Now To Curb Climate Change

Alarmed by melting glacier in Norway, Ban says world must 'act now' to curb climate change More>>

UN Spotlights Data And Technology As Key To Sustainability

The importance of quality data and cutting edge information communication technologies (ICTs) is increasingly critical to the shaping of the future sustainable development agenda, the head of the United Nations Development Programme ( UNDP ) confirmed today. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news