The Heinrich Böll Stiftung has been active in Afghanistan since 2002 working in different fields: in the first years the work focused on media development, women empowerment and strengthening of local civil society organisations. Due to changing situations, the program changed in the course of time and concentrated on environmental issues, the role of youth in the democratisation process and on Foreign, Peace and Security Policies.

This page presents some of the results of the work in the past on the above-mentioned topics. There are a number of publication, articles and reports about events conducted by Heinrich Böll Stiftung and its partner organisations. The page presents as well the current work in Afghanistan on Resource Governance and environmental issues.

Environment and Resource Equity

Afghanistan: Desert viewPhoto: PRT Meymaneh. Creative Commons License LogoThis image is licensed under Creative Commons License.

Ecology and sustainable development are central areas for securing the future of humanity.
It is to the credit of the green movement within and outside parliaments that ecology has become one of the main arenas of politics. There is hardly another subject which, within the last 30 years, has been thus transformed from the concern of a few scientists, activists into a topic of world conferences.

Ecology is not recognized as a primary concern for Afghanistan – even though every year many more people in Afghanistan die and are harmed by the effects of air and water pollution than are killed by military operations or insurgents. Every citizen can notice the negative impact environmental problems have on his or her daily life. There are already conflicts about the distribution of resources, about fertile lands, grazing grounds and water today. These are likely to increase the more affected Afghanistan will become by the effects of climate change.


Afghanistan’s new mining law poses a threat to stability

Afghanistan’s new mining law has serious weaknesses, warns Global Witness, as President Hamid Karzai signed the bill onto the statute books. The gaps in the law increase the risk that the country’s mineral wealth will fuel conflict and corruption instead of development, the campaigning group adds.

Election Campaigns: Environmental Issues Remain out of Focus

Days before the presidential elections in Afghanistan much is discussed amongst the candidates: foreign policies, economic development and reconstruction of the country. No or little attention is being paid to environmental protection, neither from the candidates nor from the people.

Afghanistan's wasted potential

The country’s natural resources, especially its abundance of water, could bring great benefits to the Afghans – but only if the right conditions can be achieved. A summary of "Afghanistan's Transition in the Making?"

Government extends the weekend to protect the environment

Two days officially of – this was the kind of weekend many governmental employees had long been looking forward to. Now it has been decided that for Kabul citizens it will become a reality – to protect the environment. Less work means less pollution says the Afghan government.

By Bente Scheller

Environmental Vulnerability; a Social Challenge or an Economic Issue

Have you ever thought about whether environment is an economic or a social problem? Or about how much a clean or contaminated environment does affect our economy? Perhaps, the widely held opinion is that environment is somewhat related to our culture and society, and there is no relation between environment and economy.

The conflict is not the only urgent concern that challenges our future

In a Heinrich-Böll-Foundation organized conference NGOs and Afghan civil society organizations exchanged their views on the challenges and threats of environmental pollution in Afghanistan. Besides naming the problems they formulated political demands and proposed solutions to the most urgent concerns.

Environmental Education; Ensuring a Sound World for Future Generations - Ecology

Environment protection is one those issues that require education and discussion. Perhaps, a lot of parents do not consider environment issues significant enough to be taught because they think that the children themselves might know about it once they are grown-up. Or, they might think that it is the responsibility of schools and teachers to educate the children on these issues.

The Land grabbers’ greed does not stop at the garbage dump

Wild garbage dumps are one of the biggest nuisances in Kabul. It just takes one walk through the streets of the capital to experience all kinds of odors. With children and animals also digging in the garbage, the piles also pose a severe health risk for Kabul’s citizens. The newly established garbage bins are a first step to make the city cleaner. Still, getting the entire system up and running will take some time.

By Bente Scheller

“Environmental Protection is a Need for Everyone”

Environmental protection is a hot discussed topic in industrialized countries, especially in Europe, whereas in developing countries such as Afghanistan this issue is not very popular due to poverty, war and the daily struggle to survive.

Climate Change Effects

Developing countries are strongly affected by the consequences of climate change. So what can they do to protect themselves? How to act if those responsible for environmental pollution and climate change do not.


Psycho-physical Effects of Environment Pollution on the Health of Kabul Citizens

This research is conducted with collaboration of a team of researchers who are expert in the field of environment and laboratory sciences, and psychology with a high degree of expertise. This is the first organized study in Afghanistan that has tried to examine environmental pollution and its impacts on public health. It also provides a platform for environmental advocacy activities in Afghanistan. It is hoped that this research will be able to pave the way for activities that can improve the mental and physical health of Afghan society.

Climate Change in Afghanistan: Perspectives and Opportunities

Afghanistan is not short of policy documents that provide a framework to tackle issues related to climate change, even though a national development strategy on climate change is missing. What is most problematic is an overarching lack of capacity that limits progress when it comes to the actual  application of the policies and implementation of plans.

Towards Green Future

The manual is the updated version of the “environment manual” developed by hbs in 2011 and has been enriched by certain contents on natural resources, green economy and sustainable development which gives the readers not only the broad perspective of the issues but also could be used as an advocacy tool while tackling the existing environmental problems in the country.

Resource Politics for a Fair Future

Publication Series on Ecology 38: How could a just and democratic resource politics look like that respects both planetary boundaries and human rights? The Memorandum “Resource Politics for a Fair Future” is the outcome of a two-year international dialogue process of the Heinrich Böll Foundation.

Democratization and Youth

Women in computer classA computer class is conducted at the Female Experimental High School. Photo: World Bank Photo Collection. Creative Commons License LogoThis image is licensed under Creative Commons License.

Power should be in the hands of the people – and everybody should have the same chance to participate in it. Heinrich Böll Stiftung (HBS) is committed to securing equal access for all members of society to participate in shaping politics in their country. That can be achieved only through a democratic system.

Democratization is a chief tenet of green politics and a central issue in political education which aims to promote a better understanding of democratization – defined as the way democratic norms, institutions and practices evolve and are disseminated both within and across national and cultural boundaries. Still it is often far from clear how to translate the general notion of democratization into concrete projects, campaigns, or educational programmes. "Civil society" is one such concept which, while widely embraced, is very contentious when it comes to questions of implementation.


Beyond Borders: Women Parliamentarians Perspective on Regional Peace Building

In 2015, the hbs head office in collaboration with regional offices in Afghanistan and Pakistan arranged a delegation visit to Berlin and Brussels from to discuss country situation, women parliamentarians performance, gender equality, peace building, shrinking spaces for women rights activism, and share the findings of the comparative study “Unmaking Political Patriarchy through Gender Quotas?” with a wide range of stakeholders at the European level.

By Abdullah Athayi

Reviewing Gender Quotas in Afghanistan and Pakistan

The research project highlights the national level parliaments and critically reviews quota designs, practices and experiences of women parliamentarians on both quota seats as well as general seats. A delegation of women parliamentarians, together with civil society activists from Afghanistan and Pakistan, went on a visit to Berlin and Brussels to discuss the first key findings.

“I do not see politics beyond ethics.”

The tribal mindset still rules the society but the youths have proved their abilities at both national and international levels decreasing the level influence of patriarchy. 

The tribal way of thinking must be eliminated

Keeping in view a particular structure—is actually not erasing the previous generation of politicians. But the objective is to pay more attention to young people, and the experiences of successful politicians must be used in that regard.

Firm steps to a better future

Young people are an energetic portion of a society. They can get involved in political activism. They can also contribute to the fight against corruption, insecurity, and factors such as nepotism to establish a better government.

“Women are more interested in modern politics”

Humaira Saqeeb was born in Kabul in 1982, during her school years she was a refugee. Today she is editor-in-chief of the "Women News Agency" and member of the “Women Political Participation Committee”. We talked to her about the ongoing violence against women in Afghanistan.

Examining Afghanistan's electoral results

What can we make out of a deadlocked electoral result, with seemingly contradictory stories from the candidates? A graphical analysis shows: Ghani's second round numerical victory was brought about by finding 1.3 million new votes and depositing them in key spots.

By Renard Sexton

“Girls and women must be part of a democracy”

Simia Ramish is a civil rights activist and journalist. As a candidate in the Herat provincial council election she aims to play an active role in politics. In this interview she explains her goals and wishes for Afghanistan.

Tokyo Conference, the Last Opportunity

At present, Afghanistan has turned into a focal point of agreements between Western and Eastern countries. These Strategic Partnership Agreements (SPAs) that Afghanistan has signed with many countries of the world, including Germany are deemed as vital achievement for the country.

Kabul‘s dreams of rock’n’roll

“Sometimes it seems as if it was all part of a big plan”, says Sulayman Qardesh. He smiles at his band colleague Siddique Ahmad. Number three, drummer Mujtaba Habibi, couldn’t come for our interview. It was a perfect match when these three boys of different origin happened to meet and found Afghanistan’s first indie rock band, the “Kabul Dreams”.

Religion, Politics and Gender Equality

Some observers see incompatibilities between democracy, human rights and gender equality, on the one hand, and a world in which religion plays an active role in public affairs, on the other. Others ask whether it is useful to see religion as the nemesis of gender equality, and secularism as others ask whether it is useful to see religion as the nemesis of gender equality, and secularism as the precondition for it.

What moves Afghanistan?

In December 2011, ten years after the Petersberg Conference, the future of Afghanistan will be discussed anew. How can Afghanistan increasingly become militarily, politically and economically more independent? And where does the Afghan parliament and civil society stand in this year’s Bonn Conference? Will they be included? Or will they – as is so often the case in international conferences – be excluded? By Barbara Unmüßig

How long means never? On International Women’s Day in Kabul, President Karzai commits to women’s rights

Never will women’s rights be sacrificed in talks with the Taliban and never will the Afghan government close women shelters. These are the promises President Karzai made to his people in the middle of a heated debate on women’s rights in Afghanistan. These are two major commitments. Judging by the overall political trends in the country, it might not be easy to stick to them.

By Bente Scheller

A home debate for a home audience: How Afghan realities are of little importance when discussing the German troops mandate’s extension

The debate about whether to extend the German troops‘ mandate in Afghanistan or not is polarizing Germany. The deployment at the Hindukush has become less and less popular in Germany over the years. Meanwhile, in Afghanistan still big hopes are lying on particularly the German engagement. Even though the pull-out has not yet started, however, the Afghan population starts feeling left alone since one issue even here is not a secret: What is of least importance for the German parliament’s decision is what is really happening in Afghanistan.

By Bente Scheller

Afghanistan: We Need Your Presence, Please Do Not Leave

Every year, when the western countries’ parliaments debate about the extension or otherwise of their troops’ mission in Afghanistan, the people of Afghanistan get concerned and anxious. More than 60% of Afghans want the international forces to remain in the country and 88% consider the Taliban and al-Qaeda the perpetrators of violence. 

By Sanjar Sohail

Journalists and the reputation of the German troops in Afghanistan

Being a journalist is a dangerous job in Afghanistan. In the past nine years we have lost about fifteen journalists in different incidents. Just two days ago one of our famous news anchors was stabbed in Kabul. So it is dangerous because we always have the problem of accessing the information in the war zone. And the Taliban are not helping the journalists, but are always trying to capture and kill them.

“A legitimated government comes from its parliament transparency”

"A legitimated government comes from its parliament transparency”. I would like to focus on passage and approval of new and updated laws according to Afghan context. In addition I want to establish an active group who can transparently observe government work and fill the gaps present in some current laws of Afghanistan.

“Good government starts with good people.” - Democratization

Since women and children are both vulnerable groups in our country, I will mostly focus on and consider these two groups. They face problems by any new evolution and changes in the country, Taliban regime is a clear example of it. If I get the chance to be a parliamentarian I would like to establish an advocacy group to lobby for women and children rights.

Book launch “Media and Elections: The role of media in democracies”

Media in democracies is often referred to as"the fourth pillar of power", and rightfully so. Ideally, this is what they do: Exerting control over politics by reporting on what they see and learn on what is happening. To be part of a decision making process, citizens need to be informed on all aspects relevant to them. What the media finds out and reports about might, however, differ from the image politicians want to give. In this case, hardly anybody is self-critical enough to admit flaws in his or her policy but rather blames it on the media.

We see the Kabul Conference as a window of opportunity for both the Afghan government and the international community

The AIHRC, as an active member of the Governance cluster, is assertive and supportive of the priorities on Rule of Law, Justice and Human Rights. All of these priorities are inter-related that each of them effect the achievement of other. Achieving these priority objectives will, definitely, have positive impact on promotion of human rights and civil responsibilities, and finally, it furthers trust between the citizens and government.

RECONCILIATION WITH THE FEW, ALIENATION OF THE MANY: Why it is so important to obtain guarantees for women's rights at the Kabul conference

The Kabul conference is an important milestone for the Afghan government. With the biggest event ever hosted by Afghanistan, it will be a demonstration of the capabilities the government has developed over the last years. If the conference is not disturbed by major security incidents, this indeed will encourage other countries confidence in Afghan sovereignty and encourage them to hand over more and more responsibilities in the cluster areas as defined in the London conference.

“Women’s rights are not up for deal”

We women need peace more than anybody else, because we lose more than men in war. War rubs us of the little rights we have fought for over the long years as well as of the economic, political, social and cultural opportunities. At the same time, we believe that achieving a lasting peace is impossible without realisation of justice, good governance, rule of law and respect for human rights.

Democratization and climate change: a time for action

A surprising omission is the balanced inquiry into what climate change and its effects mean for democratization, and what democratization could mean for mitigating greenhouse gas emissions and climate adaptation. This paper draws attention to the little explored relationships between climate change and democratization.

Women resist efforts to marginalize them in Peace Jirga

Organizations for women’s rights in Afghanistan can be proud: While in the beginning the government considered to have only 20 women among the delegates, now more than 340 women joined the National Consultative Peace Jirga. This is due not only to lobbying of activists but more importantly to a long-term effort that started ahead of the London conference.

By Bente Scheller

Voice of the people’s representatives is disturbing the governing

In February, one day before the end of the Afghan parliament’s winter break President Karzai passed a presidential decree that limited the role of the international community in the upcoming elections to being a sponsor and also brought a number of other changes to the electoral process. Now the representatives of the people defied his blunt attempt to change the rules of political participation without any consultation.

By Bente Scheller

Afghanistan: The Missing Strategy

President Barack Obamas strategy for Afghanistan probably only satisfied the American audience who will support a continued US war effort only if there is a fixed deadline for starting to pull out US troops. Those who feel the war is futile were bound to be disappointed. But the reaction in Afghanistan and Pakistan has been equally skeptical. By Ahmed Rashid

Demands of the “50% Campaign” to the International Afghanistan Conference

On January 16, 2010, the 50% Campaign, an Afghan group of women’s rights and citizenry activists, published an open letter. They ask the Afghan Government and the international community at the International Afghanistan Conference in London to stand by their obligations before the Afghan women and to deal with their demands.

Civil Society Develpment Conference in Afghanistan

Three Afghan Civil Society Development Conferences i.e. 2003, 2006 and 2008 was implemented in Kabul. There was a keen interest to conduct a fourth Afghan civil society development conference in order to review the situation and revisit the findings. It was also deemed necessary to check the mile stone and achievements set in the previous meetings and conferences.

"Afghanistan needs to heal its trauma of injustice"

In an interview Aziz Rafiee, the Managing Director of the Afghan Civil Society Forum, talks about how the funding for Afghanistan could be employed better, the German involvement in the country and why he doesn't think the Talibn will negotiate. By Interview by Johannes Kode

Afghanistan: The Missing Strategy

President Barack Obamas strategy for Afghanistan probably only satisfied the American audience who will support a continued US war effort only if there is a fixed deadline for starting to pull out US troops. Those who feel the war is futile were bound to be disappointed. But the reaction in Afghanistan and Pakistan has been equally skeptical. By Ahmed Rashid


An Electoral Guide for Young Candidates

Afghan youth participation in politics is limited in terms of opportunities for candidates to run for public offices. When young people get involved in politics, they often remain passive supporters rather than active decision-makers.  There seems to be two main factors where young people are often unable to exercise its rights and fulfill its responsibilities regarding involvement in decision making.

“It is not Charity, it is a Chair of Power” - Moving Beyond Symbolic Representation in Afghanistan’s Transition Politics?

In this action research project, experiences with quota designs, challenges and achievements of quota parliamentarians, in terms of substantive representation, are reviewed in Afghanistan. The focus lies on the concept of political patriarchy, that is, an androcentric to sometimes even misogynist political configuration in relation to (i) power relations, (ii) socio-political culture and gender roles prescriptions, (iii) institutional setups, practices and discourses.

Unmaking Political Patriarchy Through Gender Quotas?


In this study the authors, Farzana Bari and Andrea Fleschenberg, are identifying commonalities and differences of Gender Quotas in the parliaments in Afghanistan and Pakistan and contextualize women’s political participation and gender democracy worldwide. From the findings of the country studies, they are drawing concrete recommendations for practice.

Ethnic Politics and Youth Political Participation in Afghanistan

Afghan educated youth, mainly have a dense presence within the civil society organizations, which acts more or less as a reactionary force and voices the social protests but fail short to translate it into political actions. Political parties, except a few youth-centric ones, are dominated by the traditional elites within a paternal political context.

Youth Political Activism in Afghanistan


Although the country is unlikely to face any revolution in the immediate future, with 68% of its total population under the age of 25, Afghanistan is currently witnessing a serious growth in its youth population, and it has resulted in socio-cultural and political consequences that have been previously unheard of in Afghan political culture and conventions.

Afghan Women Vision 2024

Am 8. März stellte das Afghan Women's Network (AWN) in Kabul und in allen 34 Provinzen das Papier "Women Vision 2024" der Öffentlichkeit vor. Afghanische Frauen haben auf sehr persönliche Weise beschrieben was sie im letzten Jahrzehnt erreicht haben und wie eine Entwicklung des Landes nach 2014 die Interessen von Frauen berücksichtigen sollte.

Policy Brief: Afghanistan's Parliament in the Making


After more than a decade of an international intervention and close to the proclaimed second post-2014 transition phase, women's political participation remains precarious and volatile in Afghanistan despite inroads made. Women activists and lawmakers demand due diligence for promises made, inroads built, spaces carved out and steps to be taken to ensure a more peaceful post-2014 Afghanistan.

Kabul’s educated youth: What kind of future?


At a time when 68 % of the population of Afghanistan is under 25 years, the research aims at getting an insight into the mindsets of Kabul’s educated young generation. What are their perspectives in life? What are their aspired professions and social status? A research conducted by Human Rights and Eradication of Violence Organization (HREVO).

A First Step on a Long Journey: How People Define Violence and Justice in Afghanistan (1958-2008)


How People Define Violence and Justice is a joint research project of ACSFo and HBS on international crimes, massacres, rapes, murders, destruction of residential areas, homicide and imprisonment of intellectuals, torture and human rights abuses of the past fifty years. The standards for justice and human rights violation in this project are defined by people. Views, beliefs and utterances of respondents constitute the basis of this research.

Foreign, Peace and Security Policies

GHŌR, Afghanistan (May 28, 2012) – Former Taliban fighters hold rifles as they prepare to hand them over to the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan during a reintegration ceremony at the provincial governor’s compound. GHŌR, Afghanistan (May 28, 2012) – Former Taliban fighters hold rifles as they prepare to hand them over to the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan during a reintegration ceremony at the provincial governor’s compound. . Photo: ResoluteSupportMedia. Creative Commons License LogoThis image is licensed under Creative Commons License.

Peace and security are a matter of central concern for the people of Afghanistan. In large parts of the country, most of all in the south and south east of Afghanistan, instability and insecurity prevail. This, of course, is a hindrance for development. Security and development therefore are closely related. Once a basic level of security will have been achieved that will allow for progress in other fields.


Vision Workshop: Regional Green Dialogs Network

Within the framework of the project “Regional Civil Society Engagement in Green Dialogs. Promoting Peace and Stability through Equitable Resource Management”, the offices of Heinrich Böll Stiftung in Pakistan and Afghanistan successfully conducted a Vision Workshop for a seed group of the Regional Green Dialogs Network. The workshop aimed at increasing mutual understanding and developing a joint vision and a plan for future action. Intellectuals, experts and activits from both countries (Pakistan and Afghanistan) participated in the event and reflected on how to promote peace and stability in the region through equitable natural resource management, especially looking into water and energy.

From Transition to Transformation - Women, Peace & Security

Afghan Women have had a long journey in terms of their rights and socio-political participation since the Taliban downfall in 2001. As Afghanistan has just entered into a new decade of transformation, the main questions related to women, peace and security remain: What has been built to ensure women’s protection and participation over the last decade? And what strategic approach could consolidate gender equality in the decade to come?

By Abdullah Athayi

Youth in Transition

Why leaving Afghanistan might be the preferred choice for the young and restless.

By Susanne Schmeidl

The Challenge of Becoming Invisible: Understanding Women’s Security in Kabul

Kabul women have two main fears when moving through public spaces: suicide bombers and harassment. Although the risks associated with harassment are less severe than those of a suicide attack, the everyday threat of harassment creates considerable anxiety amongst women. As part of the safety audit, women were asked how they would feel when confronted with various situations when walking down the street

Natural Resources and Conflict in Afghanistan: Conclusions from Seven Cases in Ten Provinces

In Afghanistan, natural resources and conflict have a intimate and complex relationship. In conflict assessment surveys, access to natural resources have been consistently reported as the cause for more than half of local level conflict incidents in Afghanistan. In particular, access to land and access to water are regularly cited by communities across Afghanistan as two top two causes of conflict.

Missing in Transition?: Why a focus on military hand-over alone misses the point in Loya Paktia

In July 2011, ISAF officially handed over seven areas to Afghan National Security Forces, beginning a process to gradually transition all security responsibility from international to Afghan leadership. Drawing on The Liaison Office’s experience in the region Loya Paktia, this paper examines the shortcomings of a transition strategy that focuses on security, while ignoring important social and political factors that could undermine the strategy. 

Ending the War in Afghanistan: Towards a negotiated settlement

The current situation in Afghanistan is difficult. The violence is increasing, and neither the international forces or the Afghan government seem to be able to prevent this. A peace process between the government and the rebels which regulates the distribution of power in the state, could pacify the situation.

By Hamish Nixon

A Trip to Taliban Stronghold

For a long time, security along the Gultapa road in Northern Afghanistan made the area difficult to access. Afghan journalist Noor ul Ain from the Dari language daily 8 am recently travelled along this road and found the situation much improved. Yet, in his trip it became evident: What people are still in need for is development – schools, healthcare and governmental services that make it not only a secure place for now but that open prospects to the people in that area.

Khost’s Tribes: Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Afghanistan’s south eastern province of Khost is well connected with important centers of trade on the other side of the border in Pakistan. At the same time, these advantages are also being used by insurgents and make Khost a primary spot for infiltration. TLO, a partner organization of the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung, takes a closer look at Khost province and analyzes the effects of the erosion of tribal unity there over the last decades. 

Why more women are needed than invited

On Wednesday, June 2, the long-announced Peace Jirga starts in Kabul. 1600 delegates from all over Afghanistan will come together to discuss whether and how peace can be achieved. People are unsure what to expect from a gathering on which even a day before it is happening neither participants nor agenda have been made public. More easy than to know who will be attending the Jirga is to know who will not be there: The armed opposition has not been invited, the political opposition declares its boycott and women have only reluctantly been included.  

By Bente Scheller


Transboundary Basin Management under conditions of Latent Conflict: A Multi-Sectoral and Multi-Disciplinary Approach towards the Kabul River Basin

Keeping in view the long-time security-centred nature of Pakistan-Afghanistan relations, Kabul River Basin, a highly significant geographical and thematic area of concern, requires immediate attention of authorities. However, the issue remains virtually absent from the script of inter-state relations and diplomacy. The key proposition in this study is that if the transboundary basin management discourse about the Kabul River Basin can be changed from water-sharing to benefit-sharing across the water, food, and energy sectors, the social conditions and political will needed for long-term state-to-state engagement can be created without jeopardizing the lives and livelihoods of basin-dependent communities during the intervening period.

Water, Peace, and Security for All: The Potential for Peace building in Afghanistan’s Hydropolitics

In terms of having water resources, Afghanistan has a considerable advantage in comparison to its neighbors. However, war and other various factors have limited the country’s ability to make use of these resources. Water infrastructure—including dams, water storage tanks, irrigation and water supply networks, hydrometric stations and metrology systems, and sewage and sanitation systems—is limited and inefficient.

Cooperation between Afghanistan and Pakistan Civil Society Organizations for Prevention of Crisis

In recent years, the role and position of civil society organizations in dealing with local and regional crises are seen considering a new approach that requires finding common grounds, exchange of ideas and cooperation among civil society organizations functional in that specific region. Afghanistan and Pakistan have had complex and at times fragile political and security relations and in the meanwhile the two countries are tied in an unavoidable and undeniable trade and economic interdependency.

Blue Diplomacy: Transboundary Water Governance from a Foreign Policy Lens


Water quantity and quality are deteriorating and the struggle among all common water users is likely to intensify. This may become even more visible in river basins that cross political boundaries of different countries. History reveals that in many situations, this mutual need may bring strategic cooperation rather than open conflict, and lead to peaceful solutions to water disputes. Over the last 67 years, we have witnessed only 37 severe water disputes globally, in comparison to 295 water cooperation treaties (UN Water 2008: 3).

Afghanistan’s Trans-Boundary Waters

Water resource allocation is a long-ignored issue in Afghanistan. While the water potential of Afghanistan is estimated to be 75billion m3/ year on average, Afghanistan ranks lowest in water storage capacity.