DOE, ICT Ministry to prevent, fight wildfires in Golestan National Park

January 16, 2019

TEHRAN – The Department of Environment (DOE) and the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) have inked a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to contain natural disasters such as wildfires using modern technologies in Golestan National Park, northern Iran.

ICT Minister Mohammad-Javad Azari Jahromi and DOE chief Issa Kalantari have signed the MOU during a meeting held in Golestan National Park Museum, ISNA reported on Monday.

As per the MOU, such projects aiming at achieving environmental goals and sustainable development along with early detection and warning of natural disasters using modern technology, will be implemented nationwide. 

A project will be piloted in Golestan national park in the northern province of Golestan, using technological advances for early detection of wildfire and floods. 

Protecting Mirza-Bayloo plain in Golestan national park using fences, equipping the protected areas with security advances such as fire detection sensors, surveillance drones, modern motorcycles, night vision cameras to detect and deal with illegal hunters are among the subjects addressed in the MOU.

Golestan National Park is facing the danger of wildfires every year, our today agreement with the DOE is about using Techs, including IOT and satellite imagery for preventing and fighting wildfire . “There are 25 national parks accounting for 12 percent of the country’s land area, which will expanded to 15 percent in near future, so must be preserved for the next generations to benefit from natural resources as well,” Kalantari stated.

He went on to say that a separate budget exclusively will be allocated to the Golestan national park in the budget bill for the next calendar year (starting on March 21, 2019).

Referring to the technological advances to help the DOE in protection of the natural resources and prevention of losing forces protecting the environment, he noted that some 120 rangers have been martyred and 700 injured while trying to safeguard the environment and wildlife.

“Today, technology can detect the wildfire haunting the forests and parks, and warn the DOE forces to soon extinguish the fire,” he concluded.

Azari Jahromi, also for his part, said that the pilot project will be carried out in the Golestan national park during the next 9 months, and in case of success it will be implemented throughout the country.

“We will call on the private sector and startups to help us through the process,” he further highlighted.

“Golestan National Park is facing the danger of wildfires every year, our today agreement with the DOE is about using Techs, including IOT and satellite imagery for preventing and fighting wildfire,” Azari Jahromi wrote in English on his Tweeter account.

In August 2018, Qasem Sabz’ali, the commander of the forest protection unit of the Forests, Range, and Watershed Management Organization said that forest wildfire brings heavy economic burden amounting to 560 million rials (about $13,000) per hectare for the country, Since the beginning of the current [Iranian calendar] year (March 21, 2018), some 500 wildfires have erupted mostly in 1,500 to 2,000 hectares of natural resources across the country.

On average, some 10,000 hectares of natural lands burn in wildfires annually in Iran that 15-20 percent of them takes place in forests and the rest in pastures, Golestan province is one of the most haunted areas by wildfire, he also added.

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