Afghanistan is an important country for the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road (the Belt and Road) proposed by China. Due to years of war, Afghanistan is not well-developed economically. However, Afghanistan has abundant mineral resources and unique geographical advantages that are of far-reaching significance for Chinese economic strategic development. To investigate the sustainability of the eco-economic system of Afghanistan, we completed a quantitative evaluation of the emergy of Afghanistan during the period 2008 to 2015 by establishing an indicator system based on an emergy analysis. Results showed that from 2008 to 2015, the total emergy used of Afghanistan increased from 5.56×1022 sej to 9.75×1022 sej, among which the proportion of non-renewable emergy was less than 25.7%. This indicates that local resources in Afghanistan have yet to be exploited and utilized effectively and that its economic development relied heavily on the input of external resources. Meanwhile, the Emergy Sustainability Index (ESI) of Afghanistan from 2008 to 2015 dropped from 3.00 to 0.72, the Environmental Loading Ratio (ELR) increased from 0.77 to 2.06, and the Emergy Yield Ratio (EYR) dropped from 2.31 to 1.49, reflecting the imbalanced utilization of resources and the low level of economic development in Afghanistan. As a result, the potential for sustainable development of Afghanistan is relatively great. Basic infrastructure construction and reasonable exploitation of natural resources are the urgent needs.

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