Annual reforestation in Iran twice deforestation

June 6, 2020 - 17:37

TEHRAN – Annually, about 25,000 hectares of land undergo reforestation in Iran, which is more than twice the annual deforestation. However, the reforested land may not have the same biodiversity and vegetation as the original forests.

Reforestation is the natural or intentional restocking of existing forests and woodlands (forestation) that have been depleted, usually through deforestation. Reforestation can be used to rectify or improve the quality of human life by soaking up pollution and dust from the air, rebuild natural habitats and ecosystems, mitigate global warming since forests facilitate biosequestration of atmospheric carbon dioxide, and harvest for resources, particularly timber, but also non-timber forest products. 

Nonetheless, the reestablishment of forests is not just simple tree planting. Forests are made up of a community of species and they build dead organic matter into soils over time.

Between 2015 and 2020, approximately 12,000 hectares of forests across the country wiped out annually, IRNA quoted Reza Bayani an official with Forests, Range and Watershed Management Organization, as saying.

He went on to say that the country’s forests are estimated at 14.3 million hectares, lamenting, deforestation occurs for a variety of reasons, including dam construction, road construction, fire, and wood smuggling.

Over the past two years, some 25,000 hectares were replanted per year, thus it will take about 15 years for a reforested area to reach a natural forest function, he highlighted.

Certainly, a long period of time should be spent in order to ensure that the reforested areas will function as the natural forests, for example, carbon sequestration, water penetration, soil stabilization, erosion prevention, and water production will decide whether or not they are functioning, he further explained.

He went on to say that the country’s northern forests have been estimated at 2,080,000 million hectares about 60 years ago, and today it is stretching to 2,004,000 hectares taking replanted areas into account.

Yousefali Ebrahimpour, commander of the protection unit of natural resources and watershed management department of West Azarbaijan province earlier said that shortage of forest protection units, not enforcing laws and low fines are among the factors exacerbating deforestation.


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