Band-e-Amir Afghanistan National Park

Posted in Asia | January 10, 2012 | Comment Now

Afghanistan has its own share environmental regions and green zones that make it a worthwhile place to be in if you are in search of national parks and wildlife zones in this part of the world.  The Wildlife Conservation Society , the United States Agency for International Development, has in fact appreciated the efforts of the Afghanistan national Environment Protection Agency which established the country’s first internationally national park.

The main funding was given by USAID which encouraged the creation of the park with the help of Wildlife Conservation Society which conducted the wildlife surveys here. The park’s boundaries and limitations were marked and the local communities and provincial governments also contributed to getting it established.  The WCS developed the entire plan and helped the government to assist the local rangers and provided assistance to the Afghan Government and designed the law which enabled the creation of the park.

Band-e-Amir National Park

Thus the Band-e-Amir national park protects one of the best natural zones of Afghanistan. There are six beautiful lakes here which are separated by natural dams which are made out of travertine. Such travertine systems are seen only in a few areas in the entire world. Most of these are on the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites. These are major attractions in international tourism.

Band-e-Amir National Park is a favourite destination for all the tourists since the year 1950s and had a lot of visitors in the seventies. There was no tourism here in the years 1979 to the year 2001. However Band-e-Amir is today a place that is visited by many Afghan tourists, pilgrims, many foreigners and tourists from across the world, come here and come to the bamyan Valley where the giant Buddha statue is located. This was once destroyed by Taliban but today has been reconstructed.

Buddha statue at Band-e-Amir national park

The Band-e-Amir National Park is an enterprising initiative that patronizes the international community. This is a verdant expanse that has been created by Afghans, for Afghanistan and by the Afghans. This is the first national park in Afghanistan and is a great example for the future national park system.

The USAID has appreciated the NEPA for the creation of this green stretch. The USAID has the belief that all green areas are to be protected and is a main way to preserve the entire natural resources to improve the local livelihood.

The wildlife here has been comparititively lost yet there are surveys that have been taken recently which show that there was a species of wild goat called the ibex that has been found here. Then there was the urial which is a type of wild sheep and also the wolves, fish and mammals and innumerable bird species. Snow leopards were found in Afghanistan once but today they are no longer there. There was excessive hunting during the eighties and today one doesn’t find the snow leopards here.

Ibex (wild goat) in Band-e-Amir national park

The lakes in the national park are under threat of pollution and other human related causes yet there are efforts that have been made to protect them.

Lake in Band-e-Amir national park

Afghanistan got a lot of international recognition due to this Band e Amir national park and has paved the path for the wildlife rich area with the surrounding areas of Pakistan, China and Tajikistan bordering it.

Thus this national park is a great input for all kinds of tourist generated revenue and has also ensured that the local communities get something to do towards protecting this world class landscape that the park consists of.

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