Ramsar Convention’s 5-year plan under preparation
Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 23
By Khalid Kazimov - Trend:
Deputy Director of Natural Environment and Biodiversity of the Iranian Environment Protection Organization Ahmadali Keykhah said that the Ramsar Convention is preparing a 5-year strategic plan, IRNA news agency reported Feb. 23.
Formally known as the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance, especially as Waterfowl Habitat, Ramsar Convention is an international treaty for the conservation and sustainable utilization of wetlands, recognizing the fundamental ecological functions of wetlands and their economic, cultural, scientific, and recreational value.
Keykhah was speaking at the 14th International Environment Exhibition in Tehran, in a meeting held on launching the convention's regional office.
He said that the office will open on March 2 in the city of Ramsar, Mazandaran Province.
He hoped that as the convention comes under Iran's name, the country would be able to use its extensive capacities in protecting wetlands and other bodies of water.
Keykhah also said that the convention could help a great deal in fighting the formation of dust storms that have recently affected Iran.
"The water control plan in Turkey dried many rivers that used to stream down to Iraq. Therefore, great areas of land susceptible to creation of dust have been formed. Ramsar Convention's international capacities can be tapped to redeem water rights," he noted.
Iran has in recent years suffered greatly from a general drought, mostly noticeable in dry-outs over its lakes and lagoons.
The country has lost Lake Urmia, the third largest salt water lake on earth with a surface area of approximately 5200 square kilometres.
UNESCO has registered the lake as a Biosphere Reserve and it is listed as a wetland of international importance under the 1971 Ramsar Convention.
Also, drought in western Iran has created dust storms that are regularly occurring in the country.
Hurolazim Lagoon, which was drained during President Mahmaoud Ahmadinejad's administration as part of oil field exploration operations in Khuzestan Province, has been counted among factors contributing to the dust storms.
Edited by CN