GOING GREEN IN AFGHANISTAN:
View or download our CW4WAfghan Green Policy HERE.
DARI Green Policy HERE.
DARI News Release HERE.
CW4WAfghan is pleased to announce the adoption of its first Green Policy, now in effect in its country office in Kabul from February 2013. As an organization working towards human development objectives in Afghanistan, CW4WAfghan members realize that development without sustainable management of environmental resources is untenable. The impact of environmental degradation puts at risk the future we hope that Afghan children will inherit: one where the health and welfare of Afghans will be protected and promoted. CW4WAfghan has started by assessing its own practices and policies, and their impact on the environment.
CW4WAfghan has partnered with the Green Club of Afghanistan to make its Green Policy a public document in the hopes that other organizations, agencies and companies operating in Afghanistan will also adopt similar policies. CW4WAfghan plans to continually improve its policy, to adopt greener technologies such as solar power, and to network within the NGO community to share best practices. While a modest first action, it is an important starting point and we hope it might be a policy and regular practice others may adopt.
Afghanistan, and its capital city in particular, are facing an environmental crisis that puts millions of lives at risk, and significantly lowers the quality of life of Afghans. Despite the gravity of this crisis—which is estimated to claim far more lives than the current conflict—little is being done. The problems are manifold. Smog is now observed year-round in Kabul. Particulate emissions from vehicles, burning of wood and coal, of tires (that also contain human carcinogens), of diesel, of plastics and Styrofoam, and used motor oil have reached dangerously high levels. The United Nations Environmental Program has found that most fuels used in Afghanistan do not comply with international standards. As a result adverse health effects are widespread such as stroke, lung cancer, brain damage, and respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. A 2009 study by the Afghan Ministry of Public Health found that 80% of Kabul residents had lead in their blood. Lead has a seriously deleterious effect on the brain development of children, often leading to learning disabilities. A recent study of pollution in Kabul noted, “the international community and the government should realize that the worst enemy of Afghanistan is air pollution,” further noting that air pollutants are “killing many citizens every day” (Atiq Sediqi, 2010).
CW4WAfghan is committed to taking action for the environment and to changing its own practices, and strongly urges the Government of Afghanistan and the international community to adopt policies and legislation that will begin to address a crisis that greatly undermines Afghanistan’s prospects for peace and development.
Mark your calendars: Please consider EARTH DAY APRIL 21 or the UN's ENVIRONMENT DAY JUNE 5th as your DAY OF ACTION to help improve the environment in Afghanistan. Share with others who may help. DONATE to Green Club of Afghanistan to further their good work. Thank you.