By Maryam Qarehgozlou

Together towards clean planet: Iran marks Earth Day

April 23, 2017

TEHRAN — Iran marked the Erath Day 2017 in a ceremony held at the Department of Environment here on Sunday with the national theme of “together towards clean Earth”.

Every year, more than one billion people across the world mark the event by showing support for environmental protection on April 22. Earth Day aims to encourage people across the world to be more environmentally friendly. This might mean increasing the amount they recycle or volunteering for green project.

Individuals, groups join hands for a clean Earth

In a statement made on the occasion of the Earth Day, the environment chief Masoumeh Ebtekar expressed hope that individuals and groups treat the Earth in a way to have a better planet to live as without collective collaboration having a clean Earth would become a dream that can never come true.

The catastrophic effects of unsustainable development on the Earth is now more obvious than ever and has reached an alarming level, Ebtekar said, adding, humankinds are using energies, water, and food unsustainably.

Human beings need to reconsider the way they are treating the Earth and today is the day they can ponder about it, she highlighted.

Waste management is at the core of Iran’s activities to have a clean earth, she said, adding, this is a priority for the government and laws to support it have been approved so far.

“We are also making plans with Ministry of Information and Technology to co-conduct project to recycle e-waste,” Ebtekar noted.

Iran lags behind other countries in waste management

Deputy Environment Sa’eed Motesaddi regretted the fact that Iran is lagging behind other countries in waste management.

“While many are crazy about setting up incinerators, constructing sanitary landfills, or composting in Iran there is a great emphasis on recycling worldwide,” Motesaddi said.

Recycling is a process converting waste materials into new materials and objects which contrary to waste disposal can save material, he said, stating, “So with a greater emphasis on recycling we can also take advantage of the other methods as well.”

“One of the reasons as to why some consider recycling not economical is that we do not let the private sector to get a hold on the waste management sector,” he lamented.

Knowledge-based companies can pave the way

Knowledge-based companies and experts can help pave the way to advance the science of waste management, “we have to come up with better ideas than constructing landfills or building incinerators,” he reiterated.

Soil, symbol of productiveness

Soil is a symbol of productiveness, but unlike air pollution which is easily noticeable soil pollution is hard to notice for the public and many don’t know the soil they are setting foot on has lost fertility, he warned.

Motesaddi went on to say that “Some 16 million tons of soil suffer erosion in Iran annually and unfortunately the overuse of pesticides has worsen the situation.”

Overuse of some of chemicals, ceaseless cultivation of food crops, and depleting soil of nutrients have resulted in soil degradation, he said, adding, however still some 30 to 40 percent of the agricultural products go to waste which is unsustainable use of the soil.

“Just like the clean air bill which turned into a law recently we have also proposed clean soil bill which we hope to be passed soon to help improve the soil status in general,” he noted.

We all are responsible

“We all are responsible for what we produce,” Motesaddi highlighted, “we are not allowed to pollute the water, soil, or air with our waste and we have to feel responsible for it even without any laws or prohibitions.”

MQ/MG

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