Iran sets up National Environmental Fund
Baku, Azerbaijan, Nov. 13
By Umid Niayesh - Trend: Iran has established a national fund on environmental issues, Mehr news agency reported on Nov. 12.
According to the report, Iranian Vice-President for Planning and Strategic Supervision, Mohammad Baqer Nobakht, Minister of the Economic Affairs and Finance, Ali Tayebnia and Minister of Industry, Mining and Trade, Mohammadreza Nematzadeh attended the first meeting of the fund held at the Iranian Environmental Protection Organisation office on November 12.
Establishing the National Environmental Fund which is planned to finance environmental activities and green industries was among the priorities of President Hassan Rouhani`s administration.
On November 11, Iranian media outlets quoted Iranian Vice President and head of the Environmental Protection Organisation, Massoumeh Ebtekar as saying Iran ranks eleventh among the world countries in terms of greenhouse gas emission.
Ebtekar also went on to note that according to international indexes, Iran's environmental performance has fallen by 63 steps during the past eight to 10 years.
In mid-August, the ILNA news agency reported that Iran ranks 114 out of 134 countries in the 2012 Environmental Performance Index (EPI) report.
The index ranks countries on 25 performance indicators covering both environmental public health and ecosystem vitality.
Iran's rank in 2006 EPI report was 40, which indicates a fall by 74 steps during ex-president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad`s administration (2005-2013), the report said.
Experts said Iran's EPI rate fall during the last few years is linked to Ahmadinejad`s policies. During his presidency some serious environmental incidents happened.
Lake Urmia drying up was a problem where some 70 per cent of its water surface has dried up is one of the main Iranian environmental problems.
Destruction of forests is another problem. According to official statistics, some 40 hectares of forests are being destroyed every year.
One of the problems that really affects the health of people in Iran is air pollution. The air over Iran's capital is amongst the most polluted in the world. Experts say many Iranians suffer serious health problems as a result.