‘Iran falling short of 5,300 rangers’

December 7, 2018

TEHRAN — Iran is facing shortage of 5,300 rangers, as there should be 8,500 rangers protecting the country’s natural resources and environment, however, there are 3,200 rangers working in the country.

Making the above announcement, Jamshid Mohabbat Khani, head of the Department of Environment’s protection unit, said out of 600 ranger stations nationwide 100 are vacant as there are no guardian of the wilderness to safeguard the area due to squeeze of workforce. 

Some 200 of ranger stations are also up and running with only one ranger, he added, IRNA news agency reported on Thursday. 

Elsewhere in his remarks Mohabbat Khani criticized the laws on carrying firearms for rangers saying that currently rangers are only allowed to use their weapon for self-defense otherwise they will be charged with manslaughter had they kill any poachers.

In other cases, as the law is restrictive, they will be either killed or seriously injured in armed conflicts with poachers, he regretted.

Over the past year some 4 rangers were killed and one is facing capital punishment for killing a poacher, he added.

Generating job opportunities for poachers should be high on agenda to stop such incidents, he suggested.

Some 123 rangers have gotten killed while protecting the environment sine 1979 in Iran. While a bill to uphold the rights of rangers, including rules on carrying and use of firearms, has been approved by the judiciary committee of Majlis [Iranian parliament] in late September, it is still waiting for approval.

As per the proposed bill the rangers would not face charges in case of involuntarily manslaughter while on duty and would be compensated for the losses they suffer while trying to protect the environment and the biodiversity.

Moreover, the government is required to allocate budget to help those rangers who might be obliged to pay out blood money or other sort of money-penalty compensation for murder or any injuries trespassers may suffer in armed conflicts with them, and the rangers will be provided with regular insurance coverage and are entitled to compensation for the losses they suffer while doing their job.

MQ/MG

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