Natural Resources Management Department

Since the dawn of humankind, there has been a continuous reliance upon and interactions with the natural resources found on Earth in order to meet the needs and livelihood objectives of human communities. Natural resources management is defined as the management of natural resources such as plants, animals, land, water, soils, mineral deposits, forests, grasslands, croplands, rangelands, and other ecosystems with an emphasis on how this management affects the quality of life for humans and communities. Globally, the human population of over 7 billion is changing the way it interacts with the environment, and these dynamic trends are leading to population redistribution which increases consumption as well as causes environmental degradation and climate change. These trends lead to pressures that require forward thinking about the impacts of humanity on land and water, various ecosystems, and the natural resource-base upon which humans depend. In many of the least developing countries, exploitation of natural resources leads to environmental damage and the marginalization of vulnerable populations.

Afghanistan’s natural resources have been impacted by unsustainable practices and a policy and regulatory situation that are hampered by a poor economic foundation, weak and inconsistent land management oversight, and security threats. An estimated 70-80 percent of Afghans rely on natural resources through agriculture, animal husbandry, and artisanal mining for their daily survival. Afghanistan faces multiple natural resource management issues such as deforestation, desertification, biodiversity and habitat loss, pollution, natural disasters, soil salinization from irrigation, and the impacts of warfare. Natural resources management has an integral role to play in the wider processes of building a stable economy, social development, and peace building.

Conservation and management of natural resources implies mediating the way in which people, natural ecosystems, and landscapes interact. In Afghanistan this must include recognizing the reliance that households and communities have on ecosystems for their livelihoods, health, and productivity. Afghanistan’s National Environmental Protection Agency (NEPA) was established in 2005 as the institution charged with regulation, policymaking, coordination, monitoring, and enforcement oversight of natural resources within the country. Its goal is to protect the environmental integrity of Afghanistan and support sustainable development of its natural resources through the provision of effective environmental policies, regulatory frameworks, and management services. Moreover, the Environment Law (2007) further clarifies NEPA’s mandate, powers, responsibilities, and functions to include the promotion of the sustainable use of natural resources. Despite recent significant improvements from the international community and the Government of Afghanistan on both environmental policy formulation and management strategies, natural resources management could be further advanced and strengthened.

Ongoing development of industries in Afghanistan such as agriculture, mining, forestry, energy, and tourism require people to act as stewards, policy makers, and managers of Afghanistan’s natural resources, ecosystems, and landscapes. NRMD promotes an approach of integrated natural resource management that focuses on sustainability while incorporating all possible stakeholders throughout the NRM planning process. NRMD focuses on a science-based, technical understanding of ecology and resources, especially the capacity of those resources to sustain human livelihoods and development. The goal of the NRM degree is to produce graduates who are capable managing Afghanistan’s natural resources in a systematic way. This includes management of the multiple facets of natural resource use (biophysical, socio-political, and economic), meeting production goals and the goals of other direct users (food security, profitability, risk-aversion), as well as goals of the wider community (poverty alleviation, welfare of future generations, conservation).

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) 

NRMD offers a student-centered and career-oriented degree that balances practice and theory. The goal of this degree is to provide students with a breadth of understanding of the social, political, economic and ecological dimensions of natural resource problems and challenges. This requires strong foundational understanding of and literacy in the natural sciences, and the ability to make science- and research-based policy and management decisions in their chosen natural resource specialization. Upon completion of this program, students will be able to:

ILO 1:       Make, contribute to, and understand management and policy decisions about natural resources that integrate relevant ecological, physical, economic, and social information.

ILO2:        Work independently and as part of a team to complete natural resource management project work in a timely manner, demonstrating leadership skills and professionalism in attitude and conduct.

ILO3:        Acquire and analyze data describing ecological, social, and economic/political aspects of natural resources, with intermediate level skills in computer technology and GIS.

ILO4:        Communicate in English and native languages, both orally and in writing, in a professional manner to specified and general audiences.

ILO5:        Apply educational concepts, theory, and new research to practical management challenges in the students’ chosen specific natural resource focus.

Enrollment and Staffing

NRMD attracts a diverse student body from different backgrounds and provinces across Afghanistan. During the 2017 academic year, the department had 156 students with female enrollment at 28%. Reducing class size to a maximum of 35 students is recommended for promoting student-centered teaching methods through problem- and project-based learning. NRMD has three academic faculty members including the Head of the Department. The faculty members have academic credentials in hydrology, geology, hydrogeology, land use planning, agriculture, and natural resources management. Based on student enrollment and the number of core courses specific the department the optimal staffing structure should increase to four-department specific lecturers.

Course Nomenclature

Based on the new regulations of Credit issued by Ministry of Higher Education every subject has a code which exist of Two English characters and three numeric. The two English characters are for Faculty while the three numeric are for Semester and Subject. For example, for Faculty of Environment (En) should be selected. The Code (311) shows that the subject is taught in 3rd Semester and the code (11) is for the specific subject that can’t be repeated in the Faculty. So the NRMD courses are identified by the same mechanism.

Table 11: Natural Resources Management Department members.

No.

Name/ Surname

Qualification

Academic Rank

Position

1

Noor Ahmad Akhundzadah

Ph.D.

Water Resources Management

Assistant Professor

Dean of the Faculty

2

Mohammad Haroon Hairan

M.Sc

Environmental Science

Lecturer

Head of Department

3

Mujiburrahman Ahmadzai

M.Sc

Land Use Management  

Lecturer

Member

4

Mustafa Hasani

M.Sc

Natural Resources Management

Lecturer

Member

Natural Resources Department Curriculum

Table 12: First Semester

No.

Course

Code

Credit Number

Credit Hours

Theory

Practice

Credit

Total

Credit

Total

1

Chemistry-I

En113

3

3

48

 

 

2

Physics-I

En114

3

3

48

 

 

3

Introduction to Natural Resources Management

En111

3

3

48

 

 

4

Biology-I

En112

3

3

48

 

 

5

Math-I

En115

3

3

48

 

 

6

Afghanistan History

En116

1

1

16

 

 

7

Information Technology-I

En119

1

1

16

 

 

8

English-I

En117

1

1

16

 

 

9

Islamic Studies

En118

1

1

16

 

 

10

Total Credits

 

1 9

 

 

 

 

 

Table 13: Second Semester

No.

Course

Code

Credit Number

Credit Hours

Theory

Practice

Credit

Total

Credit

Total

1

Introduction to Environmental Science

En211

3

3

48

 

 

2

Introduction to Disaster Management

En212

3

3

48

 

 

3

Biology II

En213

3

3

48

 

 

4

Chemistry II

En214

3

3

48

 

 

5

Geography

En215

3

3

48

 

 

6

Math II

En216

3

3

48

 

 

7

English II

En217

1

1

16

 

 

8

Islamic Studies

En218

1

1

16

 

 

9

Information Technology II

En219

1

1

16

 

 

10

Total Credits

 

21

 

 

 

 

 

Table 14: Third Semester

No.

Course

Code

Credit Number

Credit Hours

Theory

Practice

Credit

Total

Credit

Total

1

Forest and Rangeland Management

En311

3

3

48

 

 

2

Ecological Statistics

En312

3

3

48

 

 

3

Environmental Ethics

En313

3

3

48

 

 

4

Energy Resources

En314

3

3

48

 

 

5

Soil Management

En315

3

3

48

 

 

6

Advanced Environmental Chemistry (Hydro and Atmosphere)

En316

3

3

48

 

 

7

English III

En317

1

1

16

 

 

8

Islamic Studies

En318

1

1

16

 

 

9

Total Credits

 

20

 

 

 

 

 

Table 15: Forth Semester

No.

Course

Code

Credit Number

Credit Hours

Theory

Practice

Credit

Total

Credit

Total

1

Water Management (Intro)

En411

3

3

48

 

 

2

GIS-I

En412

3

3

48

 

 

3

Environmental Geology

En413

3

3

48

 

 

4

Microeconomics

En414

3

3

48

 

 

5

Natural Resource Communication

En415

3

3

48

 

 

6

Introduction to Scientific Writing

En416

1

1

16

 

 

7

Principles of Management

En417

2

2

32

 

 

8

Islamic Studies

En418

1

1

16

 

 

10

Total

 

22

 

 

 

 

 

Table 16: Fifth Semester

No.

Course

Code

Credit Number

Credit Hours

Theory

Practice

Credit

Total

Credit

Total

1

GIS II: Adv GIS and Spatial Analysis

En511

3

3

48

 

 

2

Ecology

En512

3

3

48

 

 

3

Biodiversity

En513

3

3

48

 

 

4

Environmental Governance

En514

3

3

48

 

 

5

Natural Resource Economics

En515

3

3

48

 

 

6

Applied Hydrology

En516

3

3

48

 

 

7

Islamic Studies

En517

1

1

16

 

 

8

Total Credits

 

19

 

 

 

 

 

Table 17: Sixth Semester

No.

Course

Code

Credit Number

Credit Hours

Theory

Practice

Credit

Total

Credit

Total

1

Remote Sensing

En611

3

3

48

 

 

2

Climate Change Science and Society

En612

3

3

48

 

 

3

Natural Resources Conservation

En613

3

3

48

 

 

4

Introduction to Natural Resource Policy and Administration

En614

3

3

48

 

 

5

Sustainable Development of Natural Resources

En615

3

3

48

 

 

6

Natural Resources Development & Food Security

En616

3

3

48

 

 

7

Islamic Studies

En617

1

1

16

 

 

8

Total Credits

 

19

 

 

 

 

 

Table 18: Seventh Semester

No.

Course

Code

Credit Number

Credit Hours

Theory

Practice

Credit

Total

Credit

Total

1

Natural Resources & Land Use Planning

En711

3

3

48

 

 

2

Ecosystem Service Economics

En712

3

3

48

 

 

3

Natural Resource Law in Afghanistan

En714

3

3

48

 

 

4

Applied Ecology

En715

3

3

48

 

 

5

Natural Resources Tourism

En716

3

3

48

 

 

6

Research Methodology

En717

3

2

32

1

16

7

Islamic Studies

En718

1

1

16

 

 

8

Total Credits

 

19

 

 

 

 

 

Table 19: Eighth  Semester

No.

Course

Code

Credit Number

Credit Hours

Theory

Practice

Credit

Total

Credit

Total

1

Collaboration and Conflict in Natural Resources

En811

3

3

48

 

 

2

Monograph

En812

6

 

 

6

96

3

Option 1: Internship
Option 2: Environmental Citizenship through Applied Community Service Learning

En813

3

 

 

3

48

4

Afghanistan Natural Resources

En814

3

3

48

 

 

5

Applications on Natural Resources Principles

En815

3

3

48

 

 

6

Islamic Studies

En816

1

1

16

 

 

7

Total Credits

 

19

 

 

 

 

 

Credits Breakdown

Required Credits

             14

(144-168 max credits)

Basic Credits

59

(21 -17 credits per semester)

Core Credits

82

 

Total Program Credits

155

 

 

گالری رسانه

Pictures album of the courtyard of Kabul University after a gentle and beautiful rain

Academic and research conference entitled "Study and Management of Afghanistan Water" to welcome the opening of Kamal Khan Dam

The National Seedlings Campaign at Kabul University Campus

Inauguration of the new building of Faculty of Public Policy and Mathematics of Kabul University

The Sympathy Video of the Silk Road Universities Students with their Friends at Kabul University