Afghanistan Biodiversity Support Project (BSP)
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ECODIT supported the Afghanistan National Environmental Protection Agency (NEPA) in institutional strengthening, environmental regulation and financing, integration of environmental issues into national development planning and policies, community-based natural resource management, and public education and outreach. Accomplishments included: (1) Assisting in the development and use of regulations and rules required to implement Afghanistan’s Environment Law,(2) awarding, monitoring and evaluating the performance of approximately $1M in small grants to support the implementation of watershed management and soil and water conservation projects, among others, across Afghanistan, and in training government officers to monitor and evaluate the performance of such grants,(3) supporting NEPA’s collaboration with ministries, universities, and other institutions to integrate water quality and water conservation topics into school and college curricula,(4) providing formal training for 1,113 government officers and professionals in conducting Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs), and other topics that included natural resources and watershed management, governance and policy development, land and water conservation practices, GIS, climate change adaptation and sustainable forestry,and (5) providing training programs for 4,181 community members and nonprofessional staff in topics that included soil and water conservation, rangeland/forest/watershed restoration, agroforestry practices, and wildlife monitoring. The policy and planning support provided by ECODIT, along with the EIA training, enabled NEPA to designate the country’s first national park, Band-e-Amir National Park, Bamyan Province in 2009 .ECODIT also prepared and published a primer on EIA in English and Dari to facilitate NEPA’s continuing EIA training program,worked with communities and government agencies to prepare implementable agreements that institutionalized community benefit-sharing programs,prepared a Strategy for guiding public awareness, outreach, and media relations efforts using a participatory process,and helped prepare environmental awareness radio and TV announcements.