Tehran meeting highlights ‘inseparable link between wetlands and life’

February 16, 2021 - 17:38

TEHRAN- On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of signing the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, a ceremony was held on Tuesday at the Department of Environment to emphasize the need for protecting wetlands as they play a key role in life of societies.

As the theme of the event denotes “Inseparable Water, Wetlands, and Life”, the environmental protection effect of wetlands and their social, cultural, and economic functions were discussed during the one-day meeting attended by representatives from international organizations, IRIB reported.

During the meeting, First Vice-President Es’haq Jahangiri said that some $370 million has been allocated over the past three years to protect wetlands and combat sand and dust storms in the country.

Over the last few years, the importance of wetlands and their protection came into consideration, and over time, the law on protection, rehabilitation, and management of wetlands was approved in the Iranian calendar year 1394 (March 2015-March 2016).

In November 2020, Ali Arvahi, the director of the Conservation of Iranian Wetlands Project, said a comprehensive management program was being implemented for 18 wetlands of the country.

The comprehensive program for the protection of Parishan, Shadegan, Urmia, Qara Gheshlagh, Qourigol, Miqan, Choghakhor, Zarivar, Hamoon, Bakhtegan, Alagol, Gavkhoni, Noruzlu, Soldoz, Kani Barazan, Haray Minab, Ne’or and Gandoman wetlands has been approved and is being implemented, he added.

Iran currently has 25 sites designated as Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar Sites), covering a surface area of 1,488,624 hectares.

The Ramsar Convention for the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands recognizes the fundamental ecological functions of wetlands and their economic, cultural, scientific, and recreational value.

The Convention on Wetlands is the oldest of the modern global intergovernmental environmental agreements. The treaty was negotiated through the 1960s by countries and non - governmental organizations concerned about the increasing loss and degradation of wetland habitat for migratory waterbirds. It was adopted in the Iranian city of Ramsar in 1971 and came into force in 1975. 

World Wetlands Day is observed annually on February 2, emphasizing the importance of the wetlands and sustainable use of these valuable ecosystems.

According to the Ramsar Convention, wetlands remove water pollutants, control storms, curb climate impacts absorbing 30 percent of land-based carbon, share great biodiversity helping human life, store and supply water, and help 1 billion people to make a living worldwide.

Moreover, wetlands are home to 40 percent of all species, and provide a great part of the food supply, while being an important source of flourishing tourism in the countries.

Iran also has a great share of wetlands, as 105 wetlands are in the country stretching 3 million hectares of land. 

MG

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