‘Houses of environment’ promoting cooperation between NGOs, volunteers

January 29, 2023 - 18:41

TEHRAN – An official with the department of environment has said ‘houses of environment’ have been promoting the cooperation between non-governmental organizations and volunteers.

Abolqassem Mousavi told ISNA that 86 houses of environment have so far been established across the country.

According to the Constitution, people should participate in environmental protection. This requires training, he stressed.

For this reason, the houses of environment were launched as a platform for interaction and understanding, as well as boosting effective cooperation between volunteers, environmentalists, and NGOs.

In September 2022, Mousavi said the Department of Environment plans to launch environment houses across the country.

Under the plan, a house in each province is considered a gathering place for environmental activists in different age groups, to be trained by related organizations, he explained, adding that students are prioritized and are the most important age group in education.

There is no capital more precious than the environment so NGOs should be supported, considering their help to the governments to support the natural and valuable resources of the country, he highlighted.

President Ebrahim Raisi has highlighted the importance of environmental protection, emphasizing that the preservation of the environment is prior to every development.

Environmental protection will lead to power, security, investment, and production growth in the country, he said.

Both people and NGOs have an effective role to play in the protection of the environment, and they should be given chance to play their role, he added.

The need to use new technologies and the ability of knowledge-based companies in the field of environment, solving issues and problems related to legal proceedings, attention to domestic and international diplomacy in the field of environment, attention to water transfer in the country from one region to another, attention to the dangers of trawling, attention to environmental water rights and also attention to land management were among the topics that were discussed in this specialized meeting.

Environmental policies

On November 17, 2015, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, announced the general policies on the environment, emphasizing the need for comprehensive, harmonious, and organized management of vital resources based on ecological capability and sustainability, particularly by increasing capacities and appropriate legal and structural capabilities accompanied by public participation.

However, it seems that implementing the policies has not met its stated goals.

Ali Salajeqeh, the chief of the Department of Environment, has said after passing seven years, implementing the policies is not satisfactory.

The policies call for establishing a cohesive and national system on the issue of the environment.

Improving environmental conditions with the purpose of helping society enjoy a healthy environment, administering justice and observing intra-generational rights, preventing and prohibiting the circulation of all kinds of unlawful pollutants, recording crimes related to the environment, administering efficient and preventive punishment of polluters and destroyers of the environment and forcing them to compensate for their actions, were also among the policies.

Continuous refinement and control of air, water, soil, and noise pollutants, destructive waves and rays, and unfavorable climatic changes, and making compulsory the observation of environmental standards and criteria in implementing rules and regulations, development plans, and spatial planning, were other issues that the Leader urged officials to do.

Last March on the occasion of National Tree Planting Day, Ayatollah Khamenei warned against “the great blight” of the ongoing process of environmental degradation, urging both people and officials to resist natural resource destruction.

In December 2022, Rouhollah Naqdipour, the secretary of the strategic council of the Department of Environment, announced that a roadmap for environmental protection has been developed.

The document presents 13 national macro strategies and 46 cross-sectoral measures for five main environmental challenges, he said, IRNA reported.

The 7-chapter book also suggests reforms for systematic purposeful solutions and policies to solve environmental issues including the water crisis, he explained.

He listed the five major environmental challenges of the country as the imbalance between water resources and consumption leading to drought, soil erosion, waste and sand and dust storms, air pollution in metropolises, destruction of biodiversity and genetic resources, and imbalance between the environment and industrial and civil development.

Currently, 30 national parks, 170 protected areas, 45 wildlife refuges, and 37 national natural monuments, measuring about 19 million hectares in the area are in the country.

According to the latest studies, about 1,300 species of vertebrates, including mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and aquatic fish, about 30,000 species of invertebrates, and 8,000 species of plants have been identified in the country.


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