FAIZABAD (Pajhwok): A number of representatives from the National Environmental Protection Agency (NEPA) joined local officials in north eastern Badakhshan province to celebrate the opening of the new NEPA administrative building in the provincial capital Faizabad.
A statement from the German Cooperation with Afghanistan said that the construction of this project was managed by NEPA together with the provincial governor office at a total cost of around 20 million afghanis, with funding from the Federal Republic of Germany.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Dr. Shah Wali Adib, acting governor of Badakhshan, said: “The new NEPA facilities will help the civil servants increase environmental awareness in the population so people will keep it clean and safe for future generations.”
“Badakhshan is the ideal province for supporting NEPA. Up to this day, wildlife – especially in the Wakhan Corridor and the Hindu Kush Range – has managed to escape much of the recent conflict. This has led to occurrences of at least eight species of large mammals in Wakhan, including snow leopards, Marco Polo sheep, brown bears, and wolves,” he added.
Dr. Frank Pohl, BMZ Development Commissioner for Badakhshan and Takhar, congratulated that “the provincial government on their decision to provide this infrastructure and assume their responsibility to protect the province’s unique natural resources. In the future, Germany remains willing to cooperate and contribute to the considerable efforts made by the Afghan government to reach out to the Afghan people and improve their living conditions.”
The new NEPA administrative building was built in line with the design standards set by NEPA in Kabul. It consists of 11 offices, a conference hall, a meeting room, sanitary rooms, and a solar power system.
The civil servants will use their new building to improve their activities and facilitate better environmental services to the population. NEPA is responsible for environmental protection, including conversation of wildlife and prevention of deforestation.
The agency works both in the provinces and districts to increase environmental awareness among citizens. Currently, NEPA is running an ambitious district outreach programme in cooperation with the Regional Capacity Development (RCD) programme.
The new administration building improves the working conditions for the NEPA staff and therefore enables them to put national environmental policies into action.
As part of Germany’s cooperation with Afghanistan, the Regional Capacity Development (RCD) programme is financed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH.