Iran and Pakistan make progress towards SDG 15, while Afghanistan faces challenges

Assistant Report Writers: Eman Abdur-Raheem and Sharjeel Ali Kamil

Head Reporter and Content Analysis: Maryam Habib

According to the SDG Index and Dashboards Report 2021, Iran and Pakistan have made significant progress towards achieving SDG 15 “Life on land” by implementing policies and programs to protect and restore ecosystems, combat desertification, and prevent biodiversity loss. However, Afghanistan, which ranks 162nd out of 165 countries in terms of SDG 15, faces significant challenges due to years of conflict and environmental degradation.

The Environmental Performance Index (EPI) 2020 also ranks Iran and Pakistan higher than Afghanistan in terms of environmental performance. While Iran ranks 115th and Pakistan ranks 142nd out of 180 countries in the EPI, Afghanistan ranks 179th.

Iran has established several protected areas and wildlife reserves and launched programs to restore degraded lands and promote sustainable land use practices. Pakistan has established the largest national park in the country and launched programs to combat deforestation, promote afforestation, and prevent land degradation.

Afghanistan has suffered from deforestation, land degradation, and desertification, resulting in the loss of biodiversity and soil erosion. However, the Afghan government has taken steps to address these challenges, such as establishing national parks and protected areas and implementing programs to promote sustainable land use practices.

Iran and Pakistan can learn from each other’s experiences in promoting sustainable land use practices and protecting ecosystems. Moreover, a jointly administered market at the tri-borderland of the three states can facilitate cooperation and exchange of knowledge and best practices in promoting sustainable land use practices and protecting ecosystems.

As countries around the world strive to achieve SDG 15, Iran and Pakistan’s progress can serve as an inspiration for other countries to take similar steps towards protecting and restoring ecosystems and preventing biodiversity loss.

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