Reporting and Written by Maryam Habib
As a landlocked country, Afghanistan faces unique challenges in fulfilling Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14. However, the country has several rivers and lakes, such as the Amu Darya, Hari Rud, and Band-e Amir National Park, which are important freshwater resources and can contribute to achieving some of the targets of SDG 14, such as protecting freshwater ecosystems.
Iran, on the other hand, has taken several steps to promote the sustainable use of freshwater resources. The government has implemented water management plans, reduced water losses, and promoted efficient irrigation techniques. Additionally, Iran has established several protected areas and marine parks, such as the Qeshm Island, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, and the Kish Island, a Marine National Park. These areas are crucial for the conservation of marine biodiversity and contribute to achieving SDG 14 targets related to protecting marine ecosystems.
Furthermore, Iran has ratified several international conventions and agreements related to marine conservation and the sustainable use of marine resources, including the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. These agreements help Iran to promote international cooperation and exchange of knowledge and best practices in the field of marine conservation.
Similarly, Pakistan has taken several steps to promote the sustainable use of freshwater resources and protect marine ecosystems. The country has established several marine protected areas, such as the Astola Island, a biodiversity hotspot and home to several rare species of marine flora and fauna. Pakistan has also implemented policies and programs to reduce land-based pollution, promote sustainable fishing practices, and protect the country’s coral reefs and other marine ecosystems.
Pakistan has ratified several international agreements related to marine conservation, such as the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, and the International Coral Reef Initiative. These agreements help Pakistan to promote international cooperation and the exchange of knowledge and best practices in the field of marine conservation.
In terms of indexes related to SDG 14, the SDG Index and Dashboards Report 2021 ranks Iran 111th, Pakistan 139th, and Afghanistan 162nd out of 165 countries in terms of progress towards SDG 14.
Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan’s efforts towards fulfilling SDG 14 are crucial in ensuring the sustainability of their freshwater and marine resources, and in contributing to the global efforts towards achieving SDG 14.