Afghanistan’s First National Park
Afghanistan’s National Environmental Protection Agency has announced the first national park for the nation. It was established with the help of the Wildlife Conservation Society, who provided their expertise to conduct wildlife surveys, identify the park’s boundaries, develop the park management plan, and train local rangers.
The park, known as Band-e-Amir (Dam of the Amir), lies near the Bamyan Valley, the site of the 1,500 giant buddhas destroyed by the Taliban. Located in the Hindu Kush Mountains in Central Afghanistan, the area is famous for its series of six deep blue lakes separated by natural dams made of travertine – a rare mineral deposit. The area is host to wildlife including ibex (a species of wild goat) and urial (a type of wild sheep) along with wolves, foxes, and species of birds, including the Afghan snow finch.