Wakhan National Park
The Wakhan District - which is 4,200 square miles (about a million hectares)- is a narrow corridor of land in the northeastern tip of Afghanistan. It is bordered by Pakistan to the south, China to the east, and Tajikistan to the north. The region contains the headwaters of the Amu Darya River and is the place where the Hindu Kush and Pamir Mountains meet.

The wildlife of Wakhan is astonishingly diverse. It is a place where wolves, lynx, and brown bears from the north mix with snow leopards, stone martens, and the Pallas's cat lives. It is also home to ibex, red foxes, and Marco Polo sheep—the world's largest wild sheep.

The people of Wakhan are mostly Wakhi and Kyrgyz farmers living at subsistence levels of poverty. This is the least developed part of one of the least developed countries in the world. Wakhan is home to 17000 Wakhi and Kyrgyzs.

UNDP through Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) supported National Environmental Protection Agency (NEPA) and Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation, and Livestock (MAIL) to develop the Wakhan National Park Management. The Management plan is used to manage the resources within the National Park and as well as to manage the relation between the local communities and the government. The plan is implemented by all parties involved including government, UNDP, INGOs and local partners.

Not only this, studying and protecting the snow leopards is at the heart of our programmes in the Wakhan Corridor, where UNDP, with funding from the Global Environmental Facility (GEF), works with government, NGOs and local people to preserve the Wakhan area for future generations.

Afghanistan’s 150 snow leopards are a priceless resource for the people and ecosystems around it. To protect these rare wild animals, UNDP through WCS has helped to train and equip 50 rangers in Wakhan, including four dedicated to tracking and protecting the snow leopards.

To prevent retaliatory killings of snow leopards UNDP through WCS has supported the building of 330 enclosures for communities and individual households in Wakhan.
118 photos · 2,020 views