Baku, Azerbaijan, May 7
By Umid Niayesh - Trend:
Iran has invited Leonardo DiCaprio, famous Hollywood star and environmentalists to visit Iran to see the latest situation of the country's Lake Urmia.
After DiCaprio posted a warning message on his Instagram account, about the decline of Lake Urmia, Hadi Bahadori, head of the Western Azerbaijan Province's Committee for the Restoration of Lake Urmia invited him to visit the drying lake, Mehr news agency reported.
Two days ago DiCaprio posted a picture of the lake, located in Iran's West Azerbaijan province and wrote "A dilapidated ship dock remains on dried up Lake Urmia in northwestern Iran. It used to be the biggest salt lake in the Middle East, but it now contains five percent of the amount of water it did two decades ago due to climate change, dam construction and decrease in precipitiation."
DiCaprio's move was welcomed by many Iranian figures including environmentalists, climate change activists and officials.
Bahadori, who is also an MP from Urmia constituency expressed his appreciation for DiCaprio's concerns and invited him to visit the lake.
He expressed hope that these kinds of social movements will trigger a significant rise in sensitivity and cooperation among people across the world towards the lake, the Iranian official said.
Bahadori further said that global movement to save the world's second largest saline lake will be very promising and fruitful.
Lake Urmia is in the northwest of Iran. Over 70 percent of its area has dried up. The level has been declining since 1995. Its area is about 6,000 square kilometers. Lake Urmia needs 3.1 billion cubic meters of water per year to survive.
The lake water contains high amounts of salt and other minerals. If the lake dries out, these can be carried over adjacent areas by wind, causing serious hazards. President Hassan Rouhani has set up a working group for saving Lake Urmia.
Recent heavy rains and initiatives such as the release of water from other lakes and the channeling of rivers to Urmia have recently resulted in a relative rise in its water levels.
It should be noted that Worried about environmental issues, DiCaprio set up the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation in 1998, to promote environmental awareness and later in 2014, he was appointed as a United Nations representative on climate change.