4,500 ha of Golestan forests undergo reforestation

March 14, 2021 - 19:30

TEHRAN – A reforestation project has been implemented on 4,500 hectares of the northeastern province of Golestan, which was exposed to desertification due to drought and excessive grazing, head of Golestan natural resources and watershed management organization has said.

“During the last three years, we have implemented reforestation plans on 16,500 hectares of lands at risk of desertification in Golestan province with the participation of related organizations,” IRNA quoted Abdol-Rahim Lotfi as saying on Sunday.

According to Lotfi, 300,000 hectares of natural resources are exposed to desertification and become a sedimentary plain, 116,000 hectares of which, with high intensity of dust generation, are a priority in the implementation of these plans.

During the last 30 years, climate change such as increasing temperature, decreasing rainfall, increasing evaporation, and rainfall fluctuations in Golestan province have intensified the negative consequences and resulted in poor pastures and sand and dust storms, he explained.

This border province has a climatic diversity from temperate to semi-arid and has a variety of natural resources including high mountains, flat plains, lowlands, saline areas, and the sea.

The lands under the natural resources and watershed management organization’s control are 1.3 million hectares, which include 452,000 hectares of forests, 862,000 hectares of pastures, 20,000 hectares of coastal lands.

Golestan, the oldest national park in Iran, is located in this province, which is a unique refuge for wildlife.

Stretched to 87,402 hectares, it is home to one-seventh of Iran's plant species, one-third of all birds, and half of the country's mammals, hosting 1,350 plant species and 302 wildlife species. It has been listed as one of the top fifty ecosystems on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1930.

So far, 150 species of birds have been identified in Golestan National Park. Golden Eagle, eastern imperial eagle, saker falcon, falcon, and bearded vulture are among the endangered birds of the park. Other birds of Golestan National Park include common pheasants, shrikes, griffon vulture, rosy starling, typical warblers, wheatears, finches, and common blackbirds.

The park holds a share of 3 species of amphibians and 24 species of reptiles.

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