Conservation plan for Gorgan Bay approved

February 27, 2021 - 17:31

TEHRAN – A seven-year plan to revive Gorgan Bay in the Caspian Sea has been approved by the government at the suggestion of the Department of Environment (DOE), First Vice-President Is’haq Jahangiri announced on Saturday.

Covering an area of about 400 square kilometers, the Gulf of Gorgan also known as Gorgan Bay is the largest gulf in the Caspian Sea. It is located at the south-eastern shore of the Caspian Sea near the cities of Behshahr, Gorgan, and Sari and is separated from the main water body by the Miankaleh peninsula and extends until the Ashuradeh peninsula.

Experts on climate change and global warming believe that uncontrolled water withdrawal of aquifers, reduced rainfall, and increased evaporation are the most important reasons for the drying up of Gorgan Bay.

According to the latest scientific data presented by the National Cartographic Center, the drying rate of Gorgan Bay is worrisome.

For each centimeter decrease of the water level of the Caspian Sea, about one square kilometer of the area of Gorgan Bay has shrunk; so that with the increasing trend of global warming and climate change, sea level reduction, the need for continuous monitoring of the Caspian Sea and Gorgan Bay is more important.

Valuable ecological complex 

Gorgan Bay was designated as a Ramsar site (defined by the Ramsar Convention for the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands, recognizing the fundamental ecological functions of wetlands and their economic, cultural, scientific, and recreational value) along with Miankaleh Wetland.

The bay and its surrounding area are recognized as a valuable ecological complex in the world which had a direct impact on the livelihood of local communities in addition to conserving the marine life cycle.

Ashuradeh Island, which hosts a variety of native and migratory birds throughout the year, was also introduced and registered as one of the world's first biosphere zones in 1975.

$2m earmarked to revive Gulf of Gorgan

However, in July, a budget of 9 trillion rials (nearly $2.1 million at the official rate of 42,000 rials) was earmarked to revive the Gulf of Gorgan.

The Ports and Maritime Organization, the Department of Environment, the Ministry of Agriculture, and the Ministry of Energy are tasked with taking executive measures to save Gorgan Bay within 5 years.

According to the oceanographic studies, the most important solution to save Gorgan Bay is dredging canals, dredging the rivers leading to the Gulf of Gorgan, and providing water rights of the rivers will be other executive strategies to save the Gulf.


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