Festival of ideas to attract public participation in reviving wetlands

August 10, 2021 - 16:59

TEHRAN – The Wetlands Conservation Project is going to hold the third festival of innovative ideas and products to attract people's participation in the protection and rehabilitation of wetlands.

The third festival of innovative ideas and products in two sections of independent ideas and startups will be held on September 19 to 22, with priority given to Lake Urmia and its surrounding wetlands.

The main theme of the festival is “Wetland Support Livelihoods”, and in the end, the best ideas will be supported.

The event focuses on preserving the natural resources between the local communities and the wetland with a view to sustainable development so that the pressure on the environment can be reduced.

The themes of the festival include “new tools in education, information, and culture in the field of wetland support livelihood”, “innovative strategies and methods in identifying wetland support livelihoods”, “innovative wetland support livelihood projects”, “strategies to accelerate and facilitate the development of wetland support livelihoods in local communities”.

The Iranian Wetlands Conservation Project, in collaboration with the Department of Environment, the United Nations Development Program, was launched in 2005 and in recent years has been funded by the Japanese government to rehabilitate Lake Urmia. During its years of operation, this project has implemented extensive programs in wetland basins throughout the country.

Wetland importance

Wetlands are ecosystems saturated with water, either seasonally or permanently. They store water and ensure its quality, providing resilience against drought. They play a central role in sustainable development by supplying all our freshwater. More than 40 percent of freshwater fish are said to live in wetlands.

Wetlands play a major role in protecting the land against floods and the impacts of storms. They provide food and diverse habitats which support genetic, species, and ecosystem biodiversity. Wetlands play a key role in the life cycles of many species and in annual migration patterns.

Iran is rich in terms of having a variety of wetlands due to its climatic diversity. In Iran, 141 wetlands with ecological value with an area of over 3 million hectares have been identified, of which 25 wetlands are designated as wetlands of international importance (registered in the Ramsar Convention) covering more than 1.4 million hectares and four sites are biosphere reserves.

Of Iran’s 25 Ramsar sites about one-third are under pressure or in critical condition.

Unfortunately, wetlands are being degraded and lost due to pollution, overexploitation, climate change, and human population growth.

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