Finland seeks to rehabilitate Anzali Wetland

June 22, 2022 - 17:5

TEHRAN – Ambassador of the Republic of Finland to Tehran Kari Kahiluoto has made suggestions for the restoration of Anzali International Wetland and its twinning with Finland's natural resources.

During a meeting with Gilan province’s department of environment chief Reza Zamani, Kahiluoto said that the North-South International Corridor which connects East Europe to the Indian Ocean through Iran will provide joint cooperation opportunity among Finland and Iran.

He proposed a sisterhood partnership between Anzali Wetland and a wetland in Finland and asked for technological cooperation on forest management to preserve Hyrcanian forests.

He further expressed readiness to cooperate with Iran’s Gilan Province on waste sorting and water management, as it is an advanced country in the field with zero waste being disposed of in nature.

The Finnish envoy proposed a sisterhood agreement between Anzali Wetland and a wetland in Finland and asked for technological cooperation on forest management to preserve Hyrcanian forests. Pointing to the daily generation of 2,500 tons of waste in Gilan, Zamani said that “Finland is one of the leading countries in terms of environment and its cooperation with Gilan regarding the transfer of technology, new knowledge and the use of specialized personnel can help waste and water management as well as the protection of the province's environment.

Anzali Wetland

Covering more than 19,000 hectares, Anzali Wetland is located near the northern port city of Bandar Anzali, neighboring the Caspian Sea. The wetland was designated as a Ramsar site on June 23, 1975. It is fed by several rivers and separated from the Caspian Sea by a dune system.

The lagoon is home to submerged and floating vegetation and also extensive reed beds. It bears international importance in terms of breeding, staging, and wintering waterbirds.

While dams have contributed to human development by providing reliable sources of drinking water and irrigation, hydropower, recreation, navigation, and income, they also can cause considerable damage to the rivers, deplete fisheries, and alter recreational opportunities.
The lagoon has been listed in Ramsar Convention since December 21, 1975.

Anzali Wetland has suffered huge sediment and sludge accumulation due to the entrance of domestic and agricultural sewage from five surrounding cities, which resulted in a decrease in the wetland’s depth and capacity along with threatening biodiversity.

One of the most important concerns regarding Anzali Wetland is a constant drop in depth which was 11 meters before while shrinking to 1 meter or even 50 centimeters in recent years.

According to a report published by the University of Tehran in the Iranian calendar year 1395 (March 2016-March 2017), the amount of sediment accumulated in Anzali Wetland is usually 1 to 7 millimeters per year.

If the average sedimentation rate is three millimeters, one meter should be reduced from the depth of the wetland every 30 years, while the wetland’s depth has decreased by 3 meters in the past 30 years.

Undeniably, human involvement has led to such a situation in Anzali Wetland.



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