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17 Sep 2013
Across the world, every minute, we use over a million plastic bags. Each one of these bags can take up to 1,000 years to biodegrade. Despite this, citizens of the world continue to disrespect the earth by throwing litter everywhere.
Environmentalists and a majority of scientists who study climate change warn of a disastrous future if we do not adhere to sustainable and environmentally-sound practices.
Mr. Gary Lewis, the United Nations Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Iran stressed this message, during a recent commemoration of the UN’s Decade on Biodiversity: 2011 to 2020.
“Our planet is in peril,” said Mr. Lewis. “The impact of our growing populations and climate change will mean that over the next twenty years, the world will need at least 50 per cent more food – 45 per cent more energy – and 30 per cent more water to survive.”
In his address – which was read aloud across 11 provinces in Iran – Mr. Lewis emphasized the importance of conservation.
His message was delivered by the Hormod Sustainable Development Institute across 11 provinces throughout Iran as part of a forest cleanup exercise on 13 September. These cleanup events included environmental NGOs, members from ethnic and rural communities, and government officials.
In his statement he had stated that “In Iran, we face water shortages – desertification – deforestation – biodiversity loss – dust and sand storm – and pollution. Because of this we will need to conserve more. And one part of conserving our planet is to preserve – and show respect to – our habitat and our biodiversity.”
The aim of Hormod’s forest cleanup programme was to promote the idea that every citizen is responsible for conserving the environment.
Mr. Lewis praised Hormod for organizing the event and expressed his appreciation to participants for reinforcing a tradition famous in Persian culture: preserving and celebrating its gardens and its nature.
Head of Iran Department of Environment's statement (Farsi).
UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative's statement on the occassion of commemoration of the UN Decade on Biodiversity 2013 (English).
Click here to read Mr. Lewis' statement in Farsi.
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