ICIMOD, together with the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), celebrated the International Biodiversity Day in Kabul on 23 May 2016, with the support of the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation, and Livestock (MAIL) and the National Environmental Protection Agency (NEPA). The theme of this year’s celebration was ‘mainstreaming biodiversity: sustaining people and their livelihoods’.
The event took place on the premises of the MAIL. More than 200 guests attended the celebration, including the deputy minister, Abdul Qadeer Jawad; the deputy director general of NEPA, Abdul Wali Modadiq; and representatives from governmental and non-governmental agencies, international organizations, civil society, the media, and various universities.
During his opening remarks, Abdul Qadeer Jawad highlighted the rich biodiversity of Afghanistan, which includes 3500 to 4000 native flora, 450 to 500 species of birds, 130 to 150 species of mammals, 100 to 139 species of fish, 92 to 112 species of reptiles, 6 to 7 species of amphibians, and 7 species of vertebrates.
At the event, representatives from the MAIL, WCS, NEPA, UNEP, and Kabul University presented on the status of biodiversity and conservation as well as the associated challenges in Afghanistan. On behalf of ICIMOD, Karima Jawad presented Dr David Molden’s speech.
Financial support for the event was provided by ICIMOD’s knowledge management and communications unit. Additionally, the ICIMOD Kabul office helped to organize the event, conveyed the director general’s message, and displayed ICIMOD publications. This support was highly appreciated by the government of Afghanistan. Overall, the event received wide attention from the media and has created very positive social impact.