Conference held on biodiversity protection

February 24, 2016 - 0:0

TEHRAN — A group of officials responsible for biodiversity protection gathered together in a conference held on Tuesday to give a record on the most recent actions taken by the Department of Environment to save and control the damage inflicted upon the Earth and its species.

******* $2.3 million to be spent on forest firefighting

For the first time in the country 80 billion rials (nearly $2.3 million) is allocated to prevent, recognize, fight and suppress wildfires of forests in Iran, the director for protection, fishing, and haunting division of the Department of Environment said.

Ali Teymouri went on to say that so far half of the money is spent on the project and the other half will be spent duly.

Additionally, the Passive Defense Organization has helped the Department of Environment by allotting helicopters to fight the fire in the forests, Teymouri noted.

Although this year the number of the fire incidents have increased compared to last year from 216 to 260 the loss the fire has incurred have decreased by 50 percent, he highlighted.

In association with the crisis management organization (affiliated with the Interior Ministry), Defense Ministry, Agriculture Ministry and the Department of Environment a conclusive plan designed with the sole purpose of fighting and suppressing fire in the forests and natural resources has been drawn up, he assured.

******* Insurances to ensure the wildlife

Pointing to the wild animals getting killed during their encounters with human beings (most often with shepherds) and causing livestock losses, Teymouri explained that wild animals namely wolves and leopards will be insured to lessen the danger of extinction.

“As shepherds may kill these animals to defend their livestock, in an attempt to save these species from extinction insurance companies will surely compensate for any loss and injuries that may come to the shepherds themselves and their livestock,” he said.

******* Promoting eco-friendly culture among hunters

“In line with our policies to encourage eco-friendly culture among hunters all the hunters are assigned to take courses designed for them by the next year,” Teymouri ascertained.

“We have signed an agreement with the Shooting Sport Federation based on which all hunters are required to take courses prompting environmentally friendly behavior,” he added.

******* UN World Wildlife Day

March 3 is being observed as the World Wildlife Day since 2013 and this year all the provinces in Iran are tasked to give undivided attention to their most distinct species which are on the verge of extinction, director of Department of Environment for biodiversity and wildlife affairs said.

Iran is among the 26 countries that agreed to sign the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), Majid Kharrazian-Moqaddam explained.

“We have to figure out a plan unique to each species which enables us to treat each species according to its priorities and needs,” he added.

On 20 December 2013, at its 68th session, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) decided to proclaim 3 March, the day of signature of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), as UN World Wildlife Day to celebrate and raise awareness of the world’s wild animals and plants.

World Wildlife Day will be celebrated in 2016 under the theme “The future of wildlife is in our hands.” African and Asian elephants will be a main focus of the Day under the theme “The future of elephants is in our hands”. Countries around the world are encouraged to highlight species of wild animals and plants from their own countries, adapting the global theme to suit.

The biggest threats to wildlife are habitat loss as well as overgrazing, farming and development. Poaching and trafficking in wildlife driven by transnational organized crime groups pose the most immediate threat to many iconic species.