Afghanistan gets its first National Park
In a land ravaged by the Taliban and tribal warlords, wildlife and environment protection has little meaning. The establishment of Band-e-Amir as a national park is therefore particularly poignant. A stunningly-beautiful region of turquoise lakes, it is located near the Bamyam Valley, where the 1,500-year-old Buddha statues were destroyed by the Taliban.
Afghanistan’s National Environmental Protection Agency hopes that this move will bring normalcy to the region, ensuring protection of the habitat and attract tourism. Though much of the original wildlife here has been lost, wolves, foxes and other smaller mammals continue to thrive. Recent surveys by the Wildlife Conservation Society have also confirmed the presence of the ibex, urial and the Afghan Snow Finch.