Webinar to discuss wetlands conservation and sustainable livelihood

September 6, 2021 - 19:16

TEHRAN – A specialized webinar on the protection of wetlands and the sustainable livelihood of local communities will be held by the Ramsar Regional Centre – Central and West Asia (RRC-CWA) on September 21.

The event has been organized in collaboration with Zanjan University, Tarbiat Modarres University, and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), IRNA reported on Monday.

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.

The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance Especially as Waterfowl Habitat is an international treaty for the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands. It is also known as the Convention on Wetlands. It is named after the city of Ramsar in Iran, where the convention was signed in 1971, with 160 country members.

Unfortunately, wetlands are being degraded and lost due to pollution, overexploitation, climate change, and human population growth, poor management, not granting their water right, excessive withdrawal and etc.

To prevent wetlands depletion, 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.

Former Chief of the Department of Environment, Issa Kalantari, has said in order to restore wetlands in the country a budget of 600 trillion rials (nearly $14 billion) is required.


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