KABUL, Afghanistan, 12 July 2015 – The National Environmental Protection Agency, in partnership with the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), hosted a workshop to develop Low Emission Development Strategies (LEDS) for Afghanistan, which was attended by more than 25 senior government decision-makers, key academics, as well as representatives from the UN and international NGOs.
The two-day workshop, held in the National Environmental Protection Agency (NEPA), was an essential and important first step in shaping the future development to ensure sustainable, low emission development for Afghanistan. Participants developed innovative strategies that will enable ecologically and socially sustainable development while maintaining low levels of greenhouse gas emissions.
Mr. Ghulam Mohammad Malikyar, the Technical Deputy Director-General of NEPA, stressed the importance of reducing and maintaining low-emissions in Afghanistan. He also noted that this workshop is part of a larger strategy for Afghanistan, where “this year will be particularly important with the upcoming Conference of Parties with UNFCCC.”
Low emission development strategies (LEDS) seek to promote human, social and economic development while keeping greenhouse gas emissions on a low growth path. Within the overall development of a climate change strategy for Afghanistan, LEDS are a vital component. As the Afghan economy and population grow, demand for energy and pressure on natural resources is expected to substantially increase.
To build an idea of where this strategy should lead, participants came together to develop a 2030 vision of a progressive, prosperous, and safe Afghanistan. Key elements included a shift to low-emission energy sources, improved quality of life, expanded research, more effective laws and governance, and the development of socially and ecologically sustainable development plans. These goals were balanced by an in-depth working session on identifying major obstacles. Participants also identified sector-specific recommendations and challenges, which will help inform future decisions.