Iran seeking Chinese expertise for fighting SDSs

February 19, 2019

TEHRAN – Iran is going to use China’s expertise on tackling sand and dust storms (SDSs) and take steps to halt the external SDS hotspots affecting southeastern and southwestern parts of the country, head of the national working group on SDSs has said.

“Sand and dust storms is a major environmental issue, which has put many Iranians, especially those residing in southwestern areas of Iran, to considerable inconvenience,” IRNA quoted Ali Mohammad Tahmasbi-Birgani as saying on Tuesday.

To deal with the issue, Iran has made extensive efforts gaining numerous experiences which is among the world leading countries active in this field, he said, adding, while due to the urgent eradication of the issue, we are trying to use international experience.

“So far, we have been cooperating with Japan, which is mostly involved in software and advanced air quality control devices,” he stated, adding, therefore, we decided to call on China having successful experiences on overcoming SDSs.

In past recent years, Japan and South Korea joined hands to provide us funds to deal with SDSs, also China and Mongolia have emerged as the project leader for the plans successfully implemented so far, he further explained.

Tahmasbi-Birgani went on to say that SDSs also hit Tokyo in Japan which is originally generated from China, so that the country has gone far to eliminate the problem in the country of origin.

“As long as most dust storms in Iran originate from Iraq and Syria, it is a cross-boundary issue which requires partnership and cooperation among countries to be solved,” he highlighted.

He also added that we have called on China to share us effective experiences, so that we can draw up a plan under the auspices of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in order to convince the neighboring countries to take action toward tackling SDS.

It is scheduled that a delegation from China come to visit Iran for a meeting on discussing the efficient solutions for containing SDSs in the country, which is hoped to happen by the end of the current Iranian calendar year (March 20), he concluded.

The early signs of sporadic SDS in southwestern regions, especially Khuzestan Province, was appeared in 2005. This challenge showed its strength and reached a degree that in late January the concentration of fine dust was recorded as 20 times above the standard range in some cities of the province.

According to Iran Meteorological Organization, SDS is fed by external hotspots in Saudi Arabia and Iraq. Although most of these sand and dust storms arise from external sources but one cannot neglect the internal hotspots which, as estimations show, account for about 30 percent of the problem.

Excessive water withdrawal, dam building projects and not granting the water right of wetlands are listed as the main causes for turning wetlands and once fertile grounds and pastures in the province to internal SDS hotspots.

FB/MG