Building environmental security in Afghanistan

  • 26 Oct. 2015 - 28 Oct. 2015
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  • Last updated: 20 Nov. 2015 10:47

More than 100 Afghan leaders joined international partners to develop a strengthened environmental security policy in Afghanistan, at an inaugural conference in Kabul from 26-28 October 2015. Environmental policies, hazardous waste and material management, air quality fundamentals, wastewater management, spill response, recycling and solid and medical waste handling were among the issues tackled.

“As professionals, soldiers, citizens and children of the land it is our obligation to protect Afghanistan,” said Acting Minister of Defence Mohammed Masoom Stanekzai. “The environment is an inheritance from our ancestors and we must make it better for future generations.”

The Afghan Ministry of Defence hosted the three-day event. Participants included representatives of the country’s National Environmental Protection Agency, the United Nations, Kabul University, USAID, NATO (SHAPE) and its Resolute Support Mission, and the US military, which sponsored the event.

“Smart, sustainable environmental solutions mean strengthened economic security — a pillar of President Ghani’s national security policy. Economic security in turn leads to increased national and regional security," said US Army Maj Gen Gordon “Skip” Davis Jr, Commander of Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan, which supports the continued development of Afghan National Defence and Security Forces.

Conference participants worked together to increase environmental management and operational practices, build workable environmental policies for the Ministries of Defence and Interior, and foster a productive communication and training partnership.

“We are united to develop Afghan-owned, Afghan-led solutions,” said Davis.

(Based on a story by Lt.j.g. Charity Edgar)