Govt unable to reclaim its usurped land: Zahir
Shahzada Mustafa Zahir, the agency director general, told a ceremony marking Earth Day here that 2.1 million acres of government land had been grabbed by powerful men across the country.
However, he said the government last year recovered some of its land from illegal occupants while recapturing the entire land remained a big challenge.
Earth Day is annually celebrated on April 22 worldwide to demonstrate support for environmental protection. It was first celebrated in 1970, and is now coordinated globally and celebrated in more than 193 countries each year.
“If serious action is taken against land grabbers and bribery is prevented, it would be a big favour on the land. A man is convicted in three-tier court, but he is released in five minutes in exchange of money,” he said.
The land suffered a lot and life safety badly affected by the continued insecurity, illegal use of natural resources, forests, green areas and energy resources and other improper methods adopted by powerful men and citizens, he said.
The past four decades of war has negatively affected the environment and the earth, he noted, listing concentration of population, urbanization, construction of more towering buildings, turning forests into agricultural land, agricultural land into residential areas and selecting modern life as some huge challenges the earth face.
Meanwhile, a message from Chief Executive Officer Dr. Abdullah Abdullah was read out by Syed Fazel Sancharaki, a cultural advisor to the CEO, at the event. In his message, the CEO said the past decades of war and the lack of rule of law had caused serious damage to the environment.
Deforestation, expansion of unplanned cities and villages, lack of orchard maintenance, negligence in wild life protection, heaps of garbage on streets, use of weapons and explosives have polluted the land and air of Afghanistan, making the environment dangerous and difficult for human breathing, the CEO said in his message.
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) country director Douglas Keh said all should be ready against the climate change.
The natural resources of Afghanistan are under pressure and of 566,000 kilometre of land in Afghanistan, only 12 percent is cultivable.
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