By Maryam Qarehgozlou 

Iran marks World Environment Day with national award 

June 7, 2017

TEHRAN — On the occasion of the World Environment Day, June 5, Iran’s Department of Environment held a special ceremony in Tehran on Tuesday, conferring a national award on a number of exemplary people for their environmental achievements.

The ceremony was held with Environment Chief Masoumeh Ebtekar and First Vice-President Es’haq Jahangiri in attendance.

The award is bestowed upon governmental and nongovernmental organizations, the private sector, and environmentalists who have made considerable impacts on the protection of environment either culturally or scientifically since 2000.

'Connect with nature'

Mentioning World Environment Day 2017 celebration under the theme ‘connect with nature’, Ebtekar explained that the theme is aiming at encouraging the public to join hands in safeguarding the environment. 

“The current administration has directed particular attention to the environment and the impacts are now noticeable after four years,” she said, adding, “what the administration has done have made it possible for the public to speak up and form nongovernmental groups to try to protect the environment actively.”

Ebtekar went on to say that currently some 900 NGOs are active trying to conserve the environment.

Moreover, actors, athletes and other celebrities are now playing a key role in promoting environmental values and raising awareness among the public, she noted.

Sustainable management of water resources, creating green jobs in line with green economy, encouraging the establishment if green universities and green banks, organizing green film festival, and insuring species which are on the verge of extinction such as leopard are some of the environmental accomplishments of the past four years, Ebtekar pointed.

Environment problems, a major concern 

First Vice-President Jahangiri for his part underscored the importance of environmental problems saying that the current administration has tried to deal with it as a major concern for the country.

Restoring Lake Urmia in the northwest and Hour-al-Azim wetland in the southwest, improving the urban railway system by financing the projects, switching from mazut to gas in the power plants surrounding metropolises, and entering an agreement with Iraq to address sand and dust storms originated there are of the measures taken to mitigate the environmental predicaments, he explained. 

Energy efficiency is a priority

Using the energies efficiently is also another priority for the government which is economically and commercially and even morally justifiable, he said, stating, it is not reasonable to use the energies to cause harm to the environment.

“There should be a balance between urban, industrial, and technological development and environmental issues so that we both make progress and protect the environment simultaneously,” he highlighted.

Both government and the public should support one another in preserving the environment, he suggested. 

World should react to U.S. exit of Paris Agreement 

Elsewhere in his remarks, Jahangiri regretted U.S. reneging on Paris Agreement on climate change saying “unfortunately a country which is in charge of producing a great deal of greenhouse gasses is going back on the agreement with an air of overwhelming superiority with Trump announcing that he puts his people first.”

However, he has forgotten the fact that greenhouse gas emission not only threaten lives of Americans but also all human kinds, he noted, adding, [regarding the amount of greenhouse gasses they produce] the U.S. is morally bound to stick to the agreement more than any other nation and the world should react to this issue heatedly.



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