Message of the Faculty Dean
Afghanistan faces numerous environmental challenges such as biodiversity decline, climate change impacts, deforestation, desertification, food insecurity, overgrazing, rapid population growth in urban areas, resource depletion, soil degradation, and water scarcity and natural disaster and Hazards.
Afghanistan’s water resources are threatened by several natural and socio-economic drivers. In the naturally arid country, the water supply for human activities is carried by rivers, of which most are fed by rainfall and meltwater from the Hindu Kush mountains. Significantly the vast majority of the glaciers in these mountains are in recession. In addition, water stress is linked to dramatic land use changes. Over 80% of the country’s population is engaged in water-intensive agriculture and livestock-raising; Afghanistan’s rangelands provide forage to nearly 35 million animals. Most rural and urban households have no access to safe drinking water.
Water contamination in urban environments is mainly a result of unsafe or even lacking sanitary facilities and the unmanaged disposal of industrial wastes. Many cities still have no proper landfills to prevent groundwater contamination or systems in place to mitigate high rates of air pollution from burning waste. Air pollution as a result of urbanization and unregulated industrial activities has become a serious driver for public health issues. The ongoing exploitation of forests threatens Afghanistan’s remaining forested base while in ancient times large parts of the country were covered by forests, today they cover only 2% of the land area. Deforestation results from fuel use, illegal logging, and urban development in Afghanistan. It is unanticipated that environmental problems are associated with a changing climate.
For example, increasing temperatures and reduced precipitation already affect biodiversity, glacier and wetland extents, crop yields, livestock production, hydro-energy generation potential, and urban population health. Training a new generation of graduates who are “fit for purpose” to work in the various sectors of environment and natural disaster management is of utmost importance. To address this need, Kabul University has recently established an Environmental Science Faculty with three departments providing Bachelors of Science in Environmental Sciences, Disaster Management and Natural Resources Management. Profession and skill in these fields directly influence in socioeconomic prosperity, livelihoods and wellbeing of the society and finally ending with sustainable development of the country.
With my best wishes to all academic staff and faculty personnel to work hard to achieve our goals and objectives.
Assistant Professor Noor Ahmad Akhundzadah (Ph.D.)
Environment Faculty Dean