As the nation’s capital, Kabul is the main focus of WCS's national capacity building program and is also where WCS has its country headquarters, established in 2006. In close collaboration with government and NGO partners, WCS has achieved the following:
Legislation and Policy Advances
- Helped draft or provided technical input into various laws and policies, including the Environment Law (2007), Forestry Law (2012), draft Rangeland Law, draft Hunting Law, draft CITES regulation, Interim Tarzulamal on Protected Areas (2009), Protected Species List, National Snow Leopard Ecosystem Protection plan (2013), draft National Bird Policy.
- Provided technical support to National Environmental Protection Agency (NEPA) and the Afghanistan Wildlife Executive Committee in producing the first, second, third and fourth protected species lists for Afghanistan. The combined list now contains 149 species
- Raised awareness on Afghanistan’s wildlife and environmental legislation to members of the Afghan National Police (ANP), Border Police, National Military Academy, and Customs Department in Kabul and Badakhshan Provinces.
Established Country’s First Protected Areas
Together with NEPA and the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL), WCS played a strong role in the establishment of the first two protected areas within Afghanistan, namely:
○ Band-e-Amir National Park (April 2009)
○ Wakhan National Park (April 2014)
- Supported national and community initiatives that improved natural resource management for more than 1.3 million hectares in strategic watersheds.
Reduced Wildlife Trafficking on Military Bases
- Delivered 10 training sessions to U.S. military personnel at Camps Eggers and Phoenix, Bagram Air Base, and ISAF HQ. Helped U.S. Military Police train at least ten other Forward Operating Bases on wildlife issues and illegal trade in Afghanistan. A number of illegal furs were confiscated as a result.
Education, Training and Outreach to Diverse Audiences
- Designed and printed numerous posters and publications relating to conservation topics, including a booklet jointly with NEPA and the Ministry of Pilgrimage & Religious Affairs highlighting Islamic teaching on the environment, and developed materials to enable religious leaders across Afghanistan to convey environmental messages to their congregations.
- Supported NEPA and MAIL to celebrate international environmental events such as World Environment Day, Earth Day, World Biodiversity Day, Snow Leopard Day, Migratory Bird Day and national agricultural fairs.
- Funded or delivered natural resource management related training (ranging from two year graduate programs to short courses and presentations) to more than 23,000 Afghans since 2010.
- Worked with a local TV station to develop two films in Dari on Band-e Amir and Wakhan national parks, which were broadcast separately together with round table discussions involving representatives from MAIL, NEPA, UNDP and WCS.
Wildlife & Livestock Health
- Promoted animal health across Afghanistan in cooperation with the General Directorate of Animal Health & Production, the Central Veterinary Diagnostic & Research Laboratory, and the Afghan Veterinary Association.
- Conducted 11 training courses for Afghans at the Kabul Veterinary School and Afghan Veterinary Association to build knowledge in zoonotic and emerging wildlife diseases.
- Trained 47 veterinarians from MAIL, Kabul Zoo, Kabul Central Veterinary Laboratory and FAO on Avian Influenza, and performed the first surveys of the disease in wild birds and poultry in Bamyan, Ghazni, Kol-e-Hashmat Khan, Wakhan and Northern Takhar Province.
- Published the first book on wildlife diseases in Afghanistan in Dari and Pashto and distributed 3,000 copies nationwide.