Two decades of war in Afghanistan have certainly wreaked havoc on its people, but how about its environment?  Well that was the question a team of U.N. researchers sought to answer in a recent survey of the battle-torn nation, and their findings were most disturbing. Satellite imagery of conifer forests in several provinces revealed they’ve shrunk by more than half since 1978. And in northern Afghanistan, almost none of the valuable pistachio woodlands — which covered over 40 percent of the region in 1977 — were left intact. Animals have also suffered, as starving refuges have been forced to hunt wild boar, deer, Marco Polo sheep and Asian ibex to survive.  So for the sake of its natural world also, let’s hope this nation can “give peace a chance”.

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