Residents in the eastern province of Nuristan have said that the designation of forests and historical areas in Nuristan as a national park will help to attract more tourists and develop economic activities in the area.
Based on the announcement, Nuristan’s forests and historical sites will be preserved as a protected area.
They said that the move will also help to protect wildlife.
“This will help to protect the forests, create jobs for the people, save the wildlife. It will also increase the potential for the tourism industry in the province,” said Bakhtullah Safai, the head of the economic department in Nuristan.
“The national environmental agency is working on a plan to implement the first project--which is worth of $500,000--next year in the province,” said Abdul Khaliq Khaliqyar, the head of Nuristan's environmental department.
“We hope that peace is restored here so that the people travel here in a peaceful environment,” said Hafiz Abdul Qayoum, the governor of Nuristan province.
“We have gathered samples of different types of medical herbs in our laboratories, Nuristan has the best honey and nuts,” said Reeta Ali, the head of Nuristan's women’s affairs department.
“Efforts must be made to pave the way for the arrival of tourists and people,” said Bashir Ahmad Jalali, a resident of Nuristan province.
“The decision helps to protect the forests and curb its illegal cutting,” said Enatullah Rahmani, a resident in Nuristan.
This comes after the National Environment Protection Agency of Afghanistan announced that Nuristan province in the east, Nahur desert of Ghazni in the south, Imam Sahib district of Kunduz in the northeast and Darqad of Takhar province in the north have been designated as protected areas.