Artificial islands: political or ecological burden for Iran?

Politics Materials 21 October 2011 16:58 (UTC +04:00)
Artificial islands: political or ecological burden for Iran?

Head of the Trend Persian service Dalga Khatinoglu

Construction of artificial islands with glorious buildings on them has own aesthetic aspects to attract more tourists.

The international law provides legal frames for them, but still puts some limitations. Ecology should not be damaged and the nature should be preserved.

Ecologists alarm

Does these islands are built with observing these principles? Ecologists alarm not.

Kuwaiti periodic head of Regional Organization for the Protection of the Marine Environment (ROPME) Abdul Rahman Al-Awadi warned against building artificial islands, hinting at negative ecological consequences.

Construction of artificial islands causes the increase of mud density of the water, entering the waste materials, such as heavy metals massively into the sea. Furthermore, embanking and filling dusts into the sea damages coral reefs, their associated mangrove and sea grass habitats which are providing the food and shelter for a wide range of marine species.

But does it worth to go on building these artificial islands amid their negatives impacts?

With the tallest building in the world, the unique man-made three palm-shaped islands, luxurious five-star malls and moderate climate in winter, the UAE is increasingly attracting tourists.

Inspired by their 'creature' the Dutch Company Van Oord, one of contractors of UAE's Palm Islands, proposes to create the same 'paradise' in the Caspian Sea near the Avaza Sea Resort of Turkmenistan.

Meanwhile, Bahrain and Qatar are also preparing to construct their islands in the Persian Gulf, although no official ecological report has been published yet.

'Stop!' Iran protests.

However, Iran protests against the artificial islands, directly referring to their political and ecological consequences for the region.

Absence of ecological plans for these 'magic lands' is alarming. This beauty on the earth will entail unseen problems, Iran urges.

Iranian Supreme Leader's top military advisor Rahim Safavi has warned Abu-Dhabi to ware of attempting to bring closer its borders to disputable the Abu Musa Island by constructing palm islands.

Abu Musa, an island in the Persian Gulf, is claimed by both Iran and the United Arab Emirates.

The UN Convention on the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982 (UNCLOS) permits the countries to construct artificial islands inside of their marine borders, but the 320-article Convention contains some restrictions.

According to UNCLOS, the coastal states have sovereign rights in a 200-nautical mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ) with respect to natural resources and certain economic activities, and exercise jurisdiction over marine science research and environmental protection.

As the marine borders of any country is determined by counting the distance of its coast borders, construction of artificial islands into the sea with for instance 10-mile distance from the coast is more likely an attempt to expand the national territorial boundaries.

There are neither official negative reports about the UAE's Palm Islands nor Turkmenistan's plan, but absence of environmental aspects raises the worries.