Special budget allocated to protect biosphere reserves

January 12, 2021 - 17:53

TEHRAN – Two biosphere reserves, namely Golestan and Dena, will receive special funds in the national budget bill for the next calendar year (starting on March 20), IRNA reported on Tuesday.

With the cooperation of the Plan and Budget Organization and the Department of Environment, two important national biosphere reserves will be provided with a budget to be specially protected, Kioumars Kalantari, head of the natural environment and biodiversity of the Department of Environment said.

The purpose is to elicit people's participation in regional management, sustainable use of land and their use of reserves, and protection of biodiversity of the country's exemplary ecosystems, Kalantari stated

Iran is a vast country with a wide range of biodiversity and natural resources, with 13 biosphere reserves named Golestan, Miankaleh, Arasbaran, Urmia, Arjan and Parishan, Geno, Hara, Hamoon, Dena, Tange Sayad, Sabzkooh, Turan, Kavir and Kopet Dagh has been registered in the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Program, he explained.

Biosphere reserves include terrestrial, marine, and coastal ecosystems. Each site promotes solutions reconciling the conservation of biodiversity with its sustainable use. There are currently 714 biosphere reserves in 129 countries, including 21 transboundary sites.

The Golestan Biosphere Reserve is located in the north of Iran and forms part of the Caucaso-Iranian highlands, situated between the sub-humid and semi-arid Caspian regions. A wide variety of habitats and rich biodiversity can be found in the reserve, including 150 bird species, 54 species of reptiles and amphibians, 8 species of huge carnivores such as the leopard and brown bear, and more than 1,366 plant species.

Dena Biosphere Reserve is located in the Central Zagros Mountains of Iran, with a general slope of more than 60 percent. Dena is also home to a vast range of plant species and several endangered and endemic mammal species. Oak species dominate the highlands, while pistachio and almond are common at lower elevations.

Environment’s share of national budget

The next year's budget bill has proposed 12 trillion rials (around $292 million at the official rate of 42,000 rials) for the Department of Environment, a nearly twofold increase compared to the current year’s budget of 6.38 trillion rials (nearly $151 million).

The DOE’s budget will be spent on air pollution management, sustainable conservation, and exploitation of aquatic ecosystems, conservation, restoration and refinement of onshore biodiversity, conservation of protected areas, protection of rangers, wildfire prevention, and promotion of public participation and awareness in environmental protection.

The government submitted the draft of the national budget bill for the next [Iranian calendar] year to Majlis on December 2, 2020.

The proposed budget amounted to about 24.357 quadrillion rials (about $580 billion), with a 20-percent rise from the current year’s budget.

Supplying basic goods, treatment, and medical equipment; securing livelihood; supporting production and employment; promoting and supporting non-oil exports and knowledge-based companies are the focal points of the bill.

FB/MG

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