Afghan wildlife and environment, victims of war

This is a video called Snow Leopard: Species Spotlight- Big Cat TV.

From the Daily Times in Pakistan:

Afghanistan’s natural environment a victim of war

By Bronwen Roberts

Illegal logging, smuggling of birds and pollution are some of the environmental problems facing the country

YEARS of war saw Afghanistan’s forests levelled and its land polluted with fuel and mines, while more recent unchecked building and urbanisation is heaping new pressure on the environment, officials say. …

The unlawful timber trade is continuing, with some reports of police involvement. So is the smuggling of falcons with about 1,000 of the birds trapped in the country’s deserts every year and smuggled into Pakistan en route to the United Arab Emirates where they can fetch 500 to 30,000 dollars each, Malikyar said.

Another victim has been the endangered snow leopard, native to this area. “Before the war we had 500 snow leopards,” Malikyar said. “Now there is no exact figure but they are estimated at 80 to 120.” The pelts of the elusive animals are however not too hard to come by. In one of dozens of fur shops in Kabul that are filled with sheep, mink and fox, a shopkeeper recently displayed one priced at 2,000 dollars.

At a market for international soldiers at the US military base at Bagram north of Kabul about 180 were seized over a recent two-week period, said Zahid Ullah Hamdard from the National Environment Protection Agency (NEPA). “There is no legislation to control the export of endangered species.”

From Reuters:

Thousands of people have been forced to leave their homes due to food and water shortages in northern Afghanistan, the government said on Wednesday.

By Marlene Obeid in Australia: Afghanistan: why a withdrawal of troops.

As for naive people who still may have illusions about the Afghan war being “pro democracy”: there is an interview with Afghan President Karzai in Dutch daily NRC Handelsblad of Saturday 7 July, paper edition, Saturday supplement, page 10. Headline, Karzai quote: “Shady deals are a necessity”.

As for naive Christians and naive secularists who still may have illusions about the Afghan war being “against Islamic fundamentalism”: Karzai quote from that interview, first paragraph: “I would like to have the Taliban on my side”.

Afghani civilians killed, imprisoned by US operation: here.

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