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Afghanistan Environment - 2024


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Environment - current issues

limited natural freshwater resources; inadequate supplies of potable water; soil degradation; overgrazing; deforestation (much of the remaining forests are being cut down for fuel and building materials); desertification; air and water pollution in overcrowded urban areas

Environment - international agreements

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Climate Change-Paris Agreement, Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Dumping-London Convention, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection

signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea, Marine Life Conservation


arid to semiarid; cold winters and hot summers

Land use

agricultural land: 58.1% (2018 est.)

arable land: 11.8% (2018)

permanent crops: 0.3% (2018)

permanent pasture: 46% (2018)

forest: 1.8% (2018 est.)

other: 40.1% (2018)


urban population: 26.9% of total population (2023)

rate of urbanization: 3.34% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

Food insecurity

severe localized food insecurity:due to civil conflict, population displacement, and economic slowdown - between November 2021 and March 2022, during the winter lean season, the food insecurity situation was expected to deteriorate and the number of people in "Crisis" or above was likely to increase to 22.8 million, about 35% more than during the same season in 2020/21; following the developments of August 2021 in the country, the international aid flows, an important element of public spending, were halted; the food security situation and agricultural livelihoods in the country is likely to significantly deteriorate in the coming months due to cumulative and cascading impact of multiple shocks, including weather, conflict, economic crisis and the lingering effects of the COVID‑19 pandemic (2022)

Revenue from forest resources

0.2% of GDP (2018 est.)

Revenue from coal

0.45% of GDP (2018 est.)

Air pollutants

particulate matter emissions: 62.49 micrograms per cubic meter (2019 est.)

carbon dioxide emissions: 8.67 megatons (2016 est.)

methane emissions: 90.98 megatons (2020 est.)

Waste and recycling

municipal solid waste generated annually: 5,628,525 tons (2016 est.)

Major lakes (area sq km)

salt water lake(s): Ab-e Istadah-ye Muqur (endorheic basin) - 520 sq km

Major rivers (by length in km)

Amu Darya (shared with Tajikistan [s], Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan [m]) - 2,620 km; Helmand river source (shared with Iran) - 1,130 km
note – [s] after country name indicates river source; [m] after country name indicates river mouth

Major watersheds (area sq km)

Indian Ocean drainage: Indus (1,081,718 sq km)
Internal (endorheic basin) drainage: Amu Darya (534,739 sq km); Tarim Basin (1,152,448 sq km)

Total water withdrawal

municipal: 200 million cubic meters (2020 est.)

industrial: 170 million cubic meters (2020 est.)

agricultural: 20 billion cubic meters (2020 est.)

Total renewable water resources

65.33 billion cubic meters (2020 est.)

NOTE: The information regarding Afghanistan on this page is re-published from the 2024 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Afghanistan 2024 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Afghanistan 2024 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 04 May 24, Copyright © 2024 ITA all rights reserved.