Environment and Energy

Afghanistan’s environment is under great pressure. The decades of conflict, on-going instability, overall poverty, prolonged droughts and susceptibility to other natural hazards, population increase and influx of displaced and returning population –have all exacted a heavy toll on the environment and natural resource base of the country. With the country’s water resources dependent on the snow melt originating from ice caps and glaciers, and a large portion of land being arid and non-arable, the impact of global climate change has a negative impact on already scarce resources in Afghanistan.MORE

Our Goals

UNDP aims to contribute to a sustainable development framework in the country by ensuring environmental concerns are fully taken into consideration in Afghanistan's development. UNDP also works on environmental mainstreaming at the national and sub-national level planning, public awareness building and piloting community-based energy and environmental projects.MORE

Band-e-Amir: Afghanistan’s Hidden Wonderland

Band-e-Amir and the surrounding area, is home to more wild cat species than the whole of Sub Saharan Africa. There are also birds, deer and other endangered animals. But they and the environment they live in are under threat from over grazing, tree felling, poaching and a surge in tourist numbers. In high season, as many as 5,000 tourists can visit the park in a single day. They come for the astonishing natural beauty, which, at nearly 3,000 meters above sea level, is literally breathtaking, and for the relaxing and supposedly rejuvenating properties of the park’s six lakes, whose travertine deposits colour the waters a rich, otherworldly turquoise.MORE

Our Stories

  • Rubbish bins are now on nearly every street of Bamyan’s Zargaran Township. Twice a week, the rubbish is taken to a collection point where it is recycled into fertilizer for organic farming. Simple, effective and good for the environment. Photo: UNDP Afghanistan / Rob Few / 2015

    Cleaning up the streets in Bamyan

    Bamyan, July 2015 — Due to an upsurge in urban migration, new townships are appearing all across Afghanistan. But how do the residents in these new towns disposemore

  • Afghanistan’s first-ever female rangers head out to work in Band-e-Amir National Park. On a typical day, they collect data on endangered animals and protect the park from poachers, overgrazing and the excesses of tourism. Photo: UNDP Afghanistan / Rob Few / 2015

    Female rangers, female role models

    Bamyan, July 2015 — Jahanbin is not a man who is easily frightened or thwarted. As a ranger in one of Afghanistan’s two national parks, he’s been outmore

  • Ruqia is one of 120 people in Band-e-Amir national park who have a solar cooker that captures and focuses the rays of the sun to boil water. Photo: UNDP Afghanistan / Rob Few / 2015

    Band-e-Amir: Afghanistan’s hidden wonderland

    Bamyan, August 2015 — The evidence was out there weeks before anyone even knew. On July 07, 2014, a small box hidden way out on the northern plateaumore

  • UNDP Afghanistan / Sayeed Farhad Zalmai: Nine-year old Shabana and her brother draw water for their family from Chai-i-Kar's only water source, the Joe-e-Projey canal.

    New environmental councils spur development in provincial communities

    Char-i-Kar, Parwar Province: Standing at the edge of Joe-e-Projey canal in the northern town of Char-i-Kar, Mohammad Tahir, a car mechanic, rues the fate of childrenmore

Projects and Initiatives


Global Environment Facility - Small Grants Programme

Launched in 1992, the Global Environment Facility-Small Grants Programme (GEF-SGP) SGP addresses global environmental problems with a people-centred approach that benefits local people and generates direct community benefits and ownership. GEF-SGP in Afghanistan provides support to various types of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), including Community Based Organizations (CBOs), indigenous peoples organizations, women’s organizations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the GEF focal areas of Biodiversity, Climate Change, Land Degradation, Sustainable Forest Management, International Waters and Elimination of Harmful Chemicals. more

Small Grants Programme (SGP)


Established in 1992, the year of the Rio Earth Summit, the GEF Small Grants Programme embodies the very essence of sustainable development by "thinking globally acting locally". By providing financial and technical support to projects that conserve and restore the environment while enhancing people's well-being and livelihoods, SGP demonstrates that community action can maintain the fine balance between human needs and environmental imperatives.