NGOs and civil society groups should be recognized for their role as driving forces behind public support for environmental initiatives. This point was emphasized at a workshop looking at the Conservation of Iranian Wetlands.
The workshop examined new approaches that put people and local communities at the heart of decision-making and management of their environmental resources.
This approach has long been the main concept behind the plans and actions of the Conservation of Iranian Wetlands Project (CIWP) that tries to introduce new methods and ideas into the management system of wetlands in Iran.
Since 2005, this joint project between UNDP and the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran has collaborated with NGOs and Community-based Organizations in wetland restoration, biodiversity management, raising environmental awareness, and organizing public celebrations and campaigns.
Cooperation between wetland-related NGOs and with Department of Environment will ensure that sustainable work continues beyond the CIWP.
Conservation of the wetlands was the aim of the two-day workshop, organized in cooperation with Sabzkaran, from 26 to 27 October in Zibakenar, near Anzali wetland.
This workshop brought together representatives of NGOs from more than 25 provinces of the country, experts from the Department of Education and Public Participation and CIWP. They shared successful environmental experiences, problems and challenges, and knowledge of laws beneficial to the environmental movement.
One session of the workshop summarized CIWP's achievements, how it has cooperated with several environmental organizations, and the produced publications including a toolkit for participants.
In the final session of the workshop, participants were divided into 3 groups to develop and suggest practical ideas to promote cooperation between NGOs and governmental organizations on wetland-related issues.