1 Tahrcountry Musings: Good News from Afghanistan on the Environment Front

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Good News from Afghanistan on the Environment Front

What we hear regularly from Afghanistan is depressing news about bombings, ambushes, excesses of Taliban and suffering of the common man. Here is something that will give you cheer. On the occasion of the Earth Day, Afghanistan has declared its first National Park. This is an event for the entire world to rejoice.

The newly declared Band-e-Amir National Park near Bamyan Valley is a spectacular region of deep blue lakes separated by natural dams of travertine, a mineral deposit. If Bamayan Valley rings a familiar tone for you, you are smack on target. Yes, it was here that Taliban destroyed 1,500-year-old giant Buddha statues.

Next on the agenda of the Afghan administration is efforts directed towards acquiring the World Heritage Status for the park. This will give a tremendous boost to the park. It will also bring in foreign tourists. Even though foreign tourists have given the place a wide birth after the eruption of violence in 1979 thousands of afghans visit the place every year

Much of the Park’s wildlife has been lost in the continuing violence. But Ibex and Urial still survive there precariously. The region also boasts of Afghan Snow Finch which is a bird found only in Afghanistan. The conservation community the world over is watching with great interest the happenings in Afghanistan

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