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Social indicators

Population growth rate (average annual %) – 2.4(2010-2015
Urban population growth rate (average annual %) – 4 (2010-2015)
Rural population growth rate (average annual %) – 1.9( 2010-2015)
Urban population (%) 26.3 (2014)
Population aged 0-14 years (%) – 45.8 (2014)
Population aged 60+ years (females and males, % of total) 4.3/3.6 (2014)
Education: Primary-secondary gross enrolment ratio (f/m per 100) 64.9/99.4 (2007-2013)
Sex ratio (males per 100 females) – 102.8 (2014)
Life expectancy at birth (females and males, years) – 62.0/59.5 (2010- 2015)
Infant mortality rate (per 1 000 live births) – 67.3(2010- 2015)
Fertility rate, total (live births per woman) – 5.0 (2010- 2015)

Economic Indicators

GDP per capita – 707.6 USD ‎(2013)
GDP growth rate at constant 2005 prices (annual %) – 6.4 ‎(2013)
GDP: Gross domestic product (million current US$) – 21618 (2013)
GNI: Gross national income per capita (current US$) 707.6 (2013)
Agricultural production index (2004-2006=100) – 120 (2013)
Food production index (2004-2006=100) 120 (2013)

Country’s Environmental Profile

Afghanistan is a semi arid and landlocked mountainous country buffered by the Hindu Kush mountain ranges. The country is the 41st largest in the world in size and lies at the intersection of three of the world’s biogeographic realms: the Palearctic, Indomalayan, and Afrotropic bioregions.

Natural resources and associated biological diversity provides the livelihood basis for up to 80% of the Afghan population. Biodiversity resources in Afghanistan comprise an estimated 3,500-4,000 native species of vascular plants, 428-515 bird species, 137-150 mammal species, 101-139 fish species, 92-112 reptile species, and 6-8 amphibian species (UNEP 2009).

Rangelands of Afghanistan occupy about 30 million hectares, representing roughly 45 per cent of the country’s territory. However large areas which are considered ‘barren land’ or ‘waste land’ are also used for grazing, particularly in winter. The total grazeable area is therefore much larger, estimated at 70–85 per cent of the total land area, providing habitat and forage for nearly 35 million livestock as well as numerous wild animals.

Afghanistan is an agrarian country, with up to 80 percent of the population involved in farming or herding, or both, however agricultural production is limited by very high dependence on water from melting snow and ice and rainfall.

Almost all of the country’s known oil and natural gas reserves are in the northern part of the country, located in parts of two geologic basins – gas in the Amu Darya Basin to the west, and oil in the Afghan-Tajik Basin to the east. Afghanistan has reasonably good quality coal reserves (estimated at 400 million tonnes), most of which are located in the northern part of the country in the region between Herat and Badakshan.

List of Protected areas of Afghanistan

Designation Type/ Name of Protected Areas Status Year of designation Area (km2) IUCN category
National Park        
Ajar Valley  Proposed 2003 296.01 Not Reported
Nuristan Proposed   0.00 Not Reported
Provisional National Park        
Band-e-Amir Designated 2009 613.30 II
Waterfowl Sanctuary        
Ab-i-Estada Designated 1977 270.00 IV
Dashte-Nawar Designated 1977 75.00 IV
Hamun-i-Puzak Proposed 1973 350.00 IV
Kole Hashmat Khan Proposed 1973 1.91 IV
Wildlife Managed Reserve        
Darqad (Takhar) Proposed   0.00 Not Reported
Imam Sahib (Kunduz) Proposed   0.00 Not Reported
Northwest Afghanistan Proposed   0.00 Not Reported
Registan Desert Proposed   0.00 Not Reported
Wildlife Reserve        
Ajar Valley Designated 1977 400.00 IV
Big Pamir Designated 1978 577.00 IV

Major International Environmental Agreements :

Conventions/Treaties Ratified year
United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea   signed 1983 but no ratified
Kyoto Protocol   2013
Framework on Convention on Climate Change 2002
Convention of Biological Diversity 2002
Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer 2004
Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer 2004
Convention to Combat Desertification 1995
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora Date of enforcement: 1/28/1996
Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Waste and Their Disposals 2013
Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty 2003
Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (1968) 1992

Principal Environmental Laws

  • Pre-2001 legislation
  • Forestry Law of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan 2000
  • Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan Law for Land Ownership, 2000
  • Hunting and Wildlife Protection Law, 2000
  • Range Management Law, 1970/ 2000
  • Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan Law for Land Ownership, 2000.
  • Post-2001 legislation
  • • Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan- 2003
  • Decree on the prohibition of hunting- 2005
  • Environmental Act – 2005
  • Ozone Regulations- 2006
  • Environmental Law- 2007
  • Water Law- 2008
  • EIA Regulations- 2008


Environmental Related Reports

Major Environmental Issues:

  • Limited fresh water resources and drying lakes
  • Inadequate supplies of potable water,
  • Soil degradation,
  • Overgrazing , unsustainable logging,
  • land degradation,
  • Uncontrolled hunting and poaching,
  • Impacts of natural disasters,
  • poor spatial planning
  • Deforestation and Desertification,
  • Water pollution
  • Air Pollution


Important Web sites

  1. Afghanistan Government website
  2. Ministry for Agriculture, Irrigation & Livestock
  3. The  Ministry of Energy and Water (MEW)
  4. The Afghanistan National Disaster Management  Authority (ANDMA)
  5. Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development (MRRD)
  6. Ministry of Mines and Industries