30 years of war and unchecked logging have left ‪Afghanistan‬ with some of the most polluted air in the world. Now UNDP, the Wildlife Conservation Society and the Global Environment Facility’s Small Grants Programme are trying to reverse the damage with projects to protect natural parks and forested areas, because more trees mean cleaner air. Credit: UNDP Afghanistan / Rob Few / 2015

Climate change threatens to undo many of the development gains made in Afghanistan over the last decade, particularly for the rural poor.

Forest coverage has been decimated, little land is available for farming, and environmental degradation and poor management of natural resources have left a legacy of pollution and public health issues.

Despite an abundance of renewable energy possibilities – including wind, water and solar – inadequate technology and a lack of policy and management capacity mean these are not properly exploited.

UNDP is working to ensure that national and subnational government, local bodies, civil society organizations and the private sector have increased capacity to manage natural resources. Our projects promote more efficient and sustainable agriculture and mining, improve infrastructure, and support the adoption of renewable or energy-efficient power.

As a result of this work, we create sustainable jobs where they are most needed, improve disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation techniques, and reduce intercommunal conflict over scare natural resources. By improving access to clean energy, we boost public health, government service delivery and enterprise productivity.

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