New Protected Area in Afghanistan

November 21, 2019

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Photo Credit: ©N. Jahed/WCS Afghanistan

Afghanistan has established the Bamyan Plateau Protected Area, a spectacular landscape of over 2,600 square miles nested in the remote central Hindu Kush Moun­tain Range.

Camera-trap and observational surveys carried out between 2006 and 2018 confirmed the presence of many species in Bamyan Plateau, including the rare Persian leopard, Himalayan ibex, urial, and wolf and more. It's also home to species that so far haven't been recorded elsewhere in Afghan­istan, the southwest Asian badger and the boreal owl.

WCS scientists and wildlife conservationists were involved in all stages of the process to support the establishment of the Bamyan Plateau Protected Area, including through leveraging significant funds, providing technical expertise to collect biological and social baseline information, facilitating community engagement and consultation processes, establishing provisional planning, undertaking social and ecological monitoring, and mobilizing government and local stakeholders. The WCS Afghanistan team drafted the technical brief upon which the Afghanistan government based its decision to ultimately designate this new protected area.

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