STATISTICS: Afghanistan


1.3% —or about 867,000 hectares—of Afghanistan is forested.

Change in Forest Cover: Between 1990 and 2000, Afghanistan lost an average of 29,400 hectares of forest per year. The amounts to an average annual deforestation rate of 2.25%. Between 2000 and 2005, the rate of forest change increased by 29.8% to 2.92% per annum. In total, between 1990 and 2005, Afghanistan lost 33.8% of its forest cover, or around 442,000 hectares. Measuring the total rate of habitat conversion (defined as change in forest area plus change in woodland area minus net plantation expansion) for the 1990-2005 interval, Afghanistan lost 33.8% of its forest and woodland habitat.

Biodiversity and Protected Areas: Afghanistan has some 694 known species of amphibians, birds, mammals and reptiles according to figures from the World Conservation Monitoring Centre. Of these, 1.3% are endemic, meaning they exist in no other country, and 4.5% are threatened. Afghanistan is home to at least 4000 species of vascular plants, of which 20.0% are endemic. 0.3% of Afghanistan is protected under IUCN categories I-V.


Afghanistan: Forest Cover, 2005
Total Land Area (ha)65,209,000
Total Forest Area (ha)867,000
Percent Forest Cover1.33%
Primary Forest Cover (ha)-
Primary Forest, % total forest-
Primary Forest, % total land-
Other wooded land (ha)-

Afghanistan : Forest types
Tropical (% forest area)0%
Subtropical (% forest area)100%
Temperate (% forest area)0%
Boreal/polar (% forest area)0%

Afghanistan: Breakdown of forest types, 2005
Primary forest (ha | %)--
Modified natural (ha | %)867,000100.0%
Semi-natural (ha | %)--
Production plantation (ha | %)--
Production plantation (ha | %)--

Afghanistan: Change in Forest Cover
Forest 1990 (ha)1,309,000
Forest 2000 (ha)1,015,000
Forest 2005 (ha)867,000
Annual Change 1990-2000 (ha | %)(29,400)-2.25%
Annual Change 2000-2005 (ha | %)(29,600)-2.92%
Total Change 1990-2005 (ha | %)(442,000)-33.77%
Change in rate (%)29.84%
Primary 1990 (ha)-
Primary 2000 (ha)-
Primary 2005 (ha)-
Annual Change 1990-2000 (ha | %)--
Annual Change 2000-2005 (ha | %)--
Total Change 1990-2005 (ha | %)--
Change in rate (%)-
Other 1990 (ha)-
Other 2000 (ha)-
Other 2005 (ha)-
Annual Change 1990-2000 (ha | %)--
Annual Change 2000-2005 (ha | %)--
Total Change 1990-2005 (ha | %)--
Change in rate (%)-
Other 1990 (ha)-
Other 2000 (ha)-
Other 2005 (ha)-
Annual Change 1990-2000 (ha | %)--
Annual Change 2000-2005 (ha | %)--
Total Change 1990-2005 (ha | %)--
Change in rate (%)-
Forest area+Wooded Area-Plantations
Other 1990 (ha)1,309,000
Other 2000 (ha)1,015,000
Other 2005 (ha)867,000
Annual Change 1990-2000 (ha | %)(29,400)-2.25%
Annual Change 2000-2005 (ha | %)(29,600)-2.92%
Total Change 1990-2005 (ha | %)(442,000)-33.77%
Change in rate (%)29.84%

Afghanistan: Primary
Primary or "old-growth" vegetation
Primary Forest 2005 (ha)-
Other primary wooded land 2005 (ha)-
Other primary wooded land 2005 (ha)0
Undisturbed vegetation 2005 (% land area)0.00%

Afghanistan: Forest designation
Ownership of forest land, 2000
Public (%)100.0%
Private (%)0.0%
Other (%)0.0%
Ownership of other wooded land, 2000
Public (%)-
Private (%)-
Other (%)-
Designated functions of forest – primary function 2005
Production (%)-
Protection (%)-
Conservation (%)-
Social Services (%)-
Multiple Services (%)100.0%
None of Unknown (%)-

Afghanistan: Disturbances affecting forest land 2000
Forest Area annually affected by
Fire (%)-
Insects (ha)-
Diseases (ha)-
Other (ha)-

Afghanistan: Protected areas
Protected areas
Biosphere reserves, 2005
Wetlands of international importance (Ramsar sites), 20050
World Heritage sites, 20042
Protected Areas: IUCN categories I-V, percent of total land0.3%
Protected Areas: IUCN categories Ia, Ib, and II percent of total land, 20040.06%
Protected Areas: IUCN categories III, IV, and V, percent of total land, 20040.27%
Protected Areas: IUCN categories VI and other, percent of total land, 20040.00%

Afghanistan: Biodiversity - Wildlife
total species7
endemic species1
threatened species1
total species434
endemic species3
threatened species17
total species144
endemic species1
threatened species12
total species109
endemic species4
threatened species1
Wildlife diversity
total species694
endemic species9
threatened species31

Afghanistan: Biodiversity - Plants
Growing stock composition
3 most common species
% of total growing stock
Growing stock composition
3 most common species
% of total growing stock
Number of Native tree species
Native tree species-
Number of tree species in IUCN red list
Critically Endangered0
Vascular Plant Species, 2004
Number endemic800
Number of Threatened Plant Species, 2004
Species threatened1

Afghanistan: Value of forests
Biomass stock in forest, 2005
Above-ground biomass (M t)9
Below-ground biomass (M t)4
Dead wood (M t)1
Total (M t)14
Carbon stock in forest, 2005
Carbon in above-ground biomass (M t)4
Carbon in below-ground biomass (M t)2
Carbon in dead wood (M t)1
Carbon in litter (M t)-
Soil carbon (M t)-
Change in growing stock 1990 - 2005
Annual change rate (1000 cubic m/yr)
Growing stock per hectare 1990 - 2005
Annual change rate ( cubic m/ha per yr)
Wood removal 2005
Industrial roundwood (1000 cubic m)170
Wood fuel (1000 cubic m)693
Total wood removal 2005 (1000 cubic m)863
Total wood removal 2005 (% of growing stock)6
Plant products 2005
Food (t)5,380
Fodder (t)-
Raw material for medicine and aromatic products (t)-
Raw material for colorants and dyes (t)-
Raw material for utensils, handicrafts & construction (t)-
Ornamental plants (t)-
Exudates (t)-
Other plant products (t)-
Animal products 2005
Living animals (units)-
Hides, skins and trophies (units)-
Wild honey and bee-wax (t)-
Bush meat (t)-
Raw material for medicine and aromatic products (t)-
Raw material for colorants and dyes (t)-
Other edible animal products (t)-
Other non-edible animal products (t)-
Value of wood and non-wood forest product removal 2005
Industrial roundwood (US$)$53,720,000
Wood fuel (US$)$98,406,000
Non-wood forest products (US$)$15,483,000
Total value (US$)$167,609,000
Total value ($USD/ha)$193
Employment in forestry 2000
Total people employed-

Afghanistan : Production, trade and consumption of forest products, 2002
Woodfuel ('000 cubic m), 2002
Industrial roundwood ('000 cubic m), 2002
Sawnwood ('000 cubic m), 2002
Wood-based panels ('000 cubic m), 2002
Pulp for paper ('000 metric tons), 2002
Paper and paperboard ('000 metric tons), 2002
Afghanistan: Environment
Environment - current issueslimited natural fresh water 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
Environment - international agreementsparty to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Marine Dumping
signed, but not ratified: Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Life Conservation
Natural hazardsdamaging earthquakes occur in Hindu Kush mountains; flooding; droughts

Afghanistan: Land use / Resources
Land use (%)arable land: 12.13%
permanent crops: 0.22%
other: 87.65% (2001)
Natural resourcesnatural gas, petroleum, coal, copper, chromite, talc, barites, sulfur, lead, zinc, iron ore, salt, precious and semiprecious stones

Afghanistan: Economy
Economy - overview:Afghanistan's economic outlook has improved significantly since the fall of the Taliban regime in 2001 because of the infusion of over $4 billion in international assistance, recovery of the agricultural sector and growth of the service sector, and the reestablishment of market institutions. Real GDP growth is estimated to have slowed last fiscal year primarily because adverse weather conditions cut agricultural production, but is expected to rebound over 2005-06 because of foreign donor reconstruction and service sector growth. Despite the progress of the past few years, Afghanistan remains extremely poor, landlocked, and highly dependent on foreign aid, farming, and trade with neighboring countries. It will probably take the remainder of the decade and continuing donor aid and attention to significantly raise Afghanistan's living standards from its current status, among the lowest in the world. Much of the population continues to suffer from shortages of housing, clean water, electricity, medical care, and jobs, but the Afghan government and international donors remain committed to improving access to these basic necessities by prioritizing infrastructure development, education, housing development, jobs programs, and economic reform over the next year. Growing political stability and continued international commitment to Afghan reconstruction create an optimistic outlook for continuing improvements in the Afghan economy in 2006. Expanding poppy cultivation and a growing opium trade may account for one-third of GDP and looms as one of Kabul's most serious policy challenges.
GDP - per capita$800 (2004 est.)
GDP - real growth rate (%)8% (2005 est.)
Agriculture - productsopium, wheat, fruits, nuts, wool, mutton, sheepskins, lambskins
GDP - composition by sector (%)agriculture: 38%, industry: 24%, services: 38%, note: data exclude opium production (2005 est.)
Industries small-scale production of textiles, soap, furniture, shoes, fertilizer, cement; handwoven carpets; natural gas, coal, copper
Economic aid - recipientinternational pledges made by more than 60 countries and international financial institutions at the Berlin Donors Conference for Afghan reconstruction in March 2004 reached $8.9 billion for 2004-09
Debt - external$8 billion in bilateral debt, mostly to Russia; Afghanistan has $500 million in debt to Multilateral Development Banks (2004)
Population below poverty line (%)53% (2003)
Labor force - by occupation (%)agriculture 80%, industry 10%, services 10% (2004 est.)

Afghanistan: Population / Demographics
Population (July 2005)29,928,987
Population growth rate (%) (2005)4.77%
Population density (people/sq km) (2005)46.2
Percent rural (2003)76.7%
Median age (years)total: 17.56 years
Total fertility rate (children born/woman)6.75 (2005 est.)
Ethnic groups (%)Pashtun 42%, Tajik 27%, Hazara 9%, Uzbek 9%, Aimak 4%, Turkmen 3%, Baloch 2%, other 4%

Largest Cities in Afghanistan

Cities and urban areas in Afghanistan with population over 100,000
CityCountryCity PopulationUrban Area Population

Afghanistan: Infrastructure
Telephones - main lines in use33,100 (2002)
Telephones - mobile cellular15,000 (2002)
Roadways (km)total: 34,789 km
paved: 8,231 km
unpaved: 26,558 km (2003)

Afghanistan: Health
Life expectancy at birth (years)total population: 42.9 years
male: 42.71 years
female: 43.1 years (2005 est.)
Infant mortality rate163.07 deaths/1,000 live births
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate (%)0.01% (2001 est.)
Major infectious diseasesdegree of risk: high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne disease: malaria is a high risk countrywide below 2,000 meters from March through November
animal contact disease: rabies (2004)

Afghanistan : References & Data Sources

 Environment, Land use / Resources, Economy, Population / Demographics, Infrastructure, Health -- CIA World Factbook, 2005
 Forest Cover, Forest types, Breakdown of forest types, Change in Forest Cover, Primary forests, Forest designation, Disturbances affecting forest land, Value of forests, Production, trade and consumption of forest products -- The FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION OF THE UNITED NATIONS's Global Forest Resources Assessment (2005) and the State of the World’s Forests (2005, 2003, 2001)
 Protected Areas, Plant and animal biodiversity -- United Nations Environment Programme - World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC). 2004. World Database on Protected Areas.
 Biosphere reservers -- United Nations Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) - Man and Biosphere Program. 2004. UNESCO - MAB Biosphere Reserves Directory.
 RAMSAR sites -- The Bureau of the Convention on Wetlands . 2005. The Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance.
 World Resources Institute's EarthTrends web site
 The 2004 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
 Population Data -- United Nations Population Fund
 With additional analysis by Rhett Butler of

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