Iran’s forests 14K hectares smaller in one decade

Society Materials 9 March 2015 12:04 (UTC +04:00)

Baku, Azerbaijan, Mar. 9

By Khalid Kazimov - Trend:

Iran's Deputy Minister of Agriculture Khodakaram Jalali said that the country's forests decreased in area by 14 thousand hectares over the past 10 years.

Pointing out that in the same period the world has had a balance of minus 170 million hectares of forest development, he said that although the rate is comparatively small for Iran, the ecological aftermaths of the shrinking forests are highly important, ISNA news agency reported on March 8.

"Iran suffers a loss of one thousand billion dollars due to the desertification of its lands every year," he stated.

He added that currently, Iran's forests stretch over an area of 14 million hectares.

Jalali further said that in 2014, Iran came 16th in the world ranking for preserving forests with over 50 percent plantation coverage by registering 84.12 out of 100 for good performance.

The official pointed out that 7 million hectares of land have been identified in Iran that are in critical condition of facing desertification.

He added that the Forests, Range and Watershed Management Organization's annual budget of about $1 million is too small to prevent the catastrophe that awaits these lands.

On March 7 Shirin Abulqasemi, Managing Director of the Central Zagros Biodiversity Plan, said that if proper plans are not made on preserving Zagros forests, in 50 years 50 percent of them will have gone dry.

Zagros forests are responsible for providing 42 percent of Iran's water resources.

Edited by CN