Afghanistan is an agricultural country, and because it is located in a mountainous area, only one-eighth of the country is suitable for farming, but 85% of the population earns a living from agriculture. Wars and droughts have caused illegal economies, such as drug distribution and smuggling, to interrupt traditional agricultural economies. Drought has made Afghanistan an importer of crops, most of which are now imported from Pakistan. Before poppy was cultivated, wheat, which is the staple food of bread, was an important crop, and maize, rice, barley, etc. were also cultivated, but cotton production also plays an important role in addition to food. Cotton was important to the textile industry in Afghanistan.
Livestock has led to the production of meat, dairy and leather products, and sheep, goats, donkeys, horses, mules, camels and buffalo have been bred. Dairy products are made from cows, sheep and goats. The 2000 drought, which DR Tetsu Nakamura felt a sense of crisis, caused a significant decrease in livestock. About 3% of the land is used for forestry, but on the eastern and southern slopes of the Hindu Kush Mountains, conifers have been used as timber for construction and export, and oak trees have been used as fuel. Deforestation has progressed due to illegal exports. It has been pointed out that as deforestation progresses, greenhouse gas emissions increase, which also has a negative impact on ecosystems.
Violence in Afghanistan is brought about by the loss of agricultural land, deforestation and drought due to environmental problems, and when the population increases, it means that the number of young people who cannot live in agricultural land, livestock farming and forestry will increase.
On December 9, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a public debate on security, “Maintaining International Peace and Security: Security in the Context of Terrorism and Climate Change,” that the issue of climate change is a battle against time. He stressed that climate change threatens food security and access to resources in Africa and the Middle East.
Secretary-General Guterres said areas vulnerable to climate change are threatened by poverty, low governance and terrorist activity, eight of which are undertaken by UN peacekeeping operations and special political missions. The Secretary-General specifically pointed out that climate change has a synergistic effect on violence in Mali, where nomads and farmers are to be invited to terrorist activities, and in Iraq and Syria, where IS is active.
WFP (United Nations World Food Programme) predicts that famine and malnutrition will increase by 20% by 2050, as well as the World Bank predicting that climate change will make 200 million refugees by 2050. Poverty, poor governance and the devastation of terrorism are seen in countries affected by climate change, the Secretary-General said. Afghanistan, where Taliban governance is unstable, continues to face the three challenges of poverty, lack of governance and terrorism, as the Secretary-General points out.
Secretary-General António Guterres continues to emphasize the need for assistance to Afghanistan in the winter, but António Vitorino Director General of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), said in early November that more than half of the population in Afghanistan suffered from food shortages, pointing out that malnutrition became so severe that 80% of people lost their jobs and livelihoods.