Environmental management plans prepared for 44 wetlands

February 4, 2023 - 18:15

TEHRAN -  An official with the Department of Environment has said comprehensive management plans have been prepared for 44 wetlands in the country.

The unique characteristics of wetlands, including groundwater control, climate change adaptation, the livelihood of local communities through fishing, livestock grazing and agriculture, natural water purification, purification and absorption of pollutants, and nature tourism have made sustainable management and protection of wetlands essential for humans, ISNA quoted Jaleh Amini as saying.

Environmental management based on a comprehensive approach is a strategy for the integrated management of land, water, and livelihood resources that promotes conservation and sustainable use in a balanced manner.

This approach is the primary framework for action under the Convention on Biological Diversity. The indigenous approach puts people and their type of exploitation of natural resources exactly at the center of decision-making.

Therefore, it can be used to find a suitable balance between the conservation and exploitation of biodiversity in areas with both multiple resource users and important natural values.

Unfortunately, the lack of attention to the situation of wetlands in the development process has faced these valuable ecosystems with serious challenges in many parts of the world, she stressed.

The effects of this destructive process on human life and biodiversity have prompted many countries to protect and restore wetlands with preventive measures or the use of new management methods to achieve sustainable development, Amini added.

“The wetlands management plan contains defined approaches and goals for the transition from current conditions to favorable conditions in the future.”

In fact, the program provides a framework for management decisions and executive actions and depending on what laws are formulated or implemented by what institutions, it can be a binding instruction.

So far, for 44 wetlands in the country, such as Parishan and Shadegan wetlands, and Lake Urmia, environmental management plans have been prepared, of which 28 plans have been approved and the rest are awaiting approval or are under preparation, she concluded.

Importance of wetlands

Wetlands are indispensable for the countless benefits or “ecosystem services” that they provide humanity, ranging from freshwater supply, food and building materials, and biodiversity, to flood control, groundwater recharge, and climate change mitigation.

Yet study after study demonstrates that wetland area and quality continue to decline in most regions of the world. As a result, the ecosystem services that wetlands provide to people are compromised.

Managing wetlands is a global challenge and the Convention presently counts 172 countries as Contracting Parties, which recognizes the value of having one international treaty dedicated to a single ecosystem.

The Ramsar Convention uses a broad definition of wetlands. This includes all lakes and rivers, underground aquifers, swamps and marshes, wet grasslands, peatlands, oases, estuaries, deltas, tidal flats, mangroves, and other coastal areas, coral reefs, and all human-made sites such as fish ponds, rice paddies, reservoirs, and salt pans.

The Convention on Wetlands is an intergovernmental treaty that provides the framework for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources.

It was adopted in the Iranian city of Ramsar in 1971 and came into force in 1975. Since then, almost 90% of UN member states, from all the world’s geographic regions, have acceded to become “Contracting Parties”.

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.

Some 43 percent of the country’s wetlands have the potential to become a source of sand and dust storms (SDSs), Sediqeh Modarres, an official with the DOE, stated.


Leave a Comment