UN helps Iran protect its environment in five main areasJun 9, 2016
Celebrating World Environment Day (WED) here in Tehran, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative, Gary Lewis said United Nations is helping Iran’s authorities protect its environment in five main areas. These are water security, reversing desertification and deforestation, making energy consumption more efficient, minimizing the impact of air and water pollution (including efforts to counter sand and dust storms) and, finally protecting endangered wild life and species.
The focus of this year’s WED was protecting wildlife under the banner “Wild for Life”. In this area, Mr. Lewis spoke of what the UN Development Programme (UNDP) is doing with regard to protecting the Asiatic Cheetah. Lewis said: “There are currently estimated to be between on 50 and 100 Asiatic Cheetah left in this planet and that they are all located in Iran”.
He said that for over 12 years UN has been cooperating with the Government, private sector and NGOs by engaging with local communities as well as supporting government efforts to protect the Asiatic Cheetah. He said four key elements were in volved in the struggle to protect this beautiful, emblematic – but endangered – species. First is to involve the local communities in understanding why everyone benefits if the cheetah are allowed to survive. Second is to strengthen the Protected Areas system in Iran which provides the habitat for the cheetah. Third is to continue to carry out research on the progress being made in the protection. Fourth, and perhaps most important, is to continue to support the “brave Game Guards who are actually out there in the hot sun and freezing cold – all season” to keep watch over the cheetah from poachers.”
Lewis made his remarks during a seminar on the occasion of WED at the UN Building on Wednesday 8 June.
While praising the round-o’clock efforts of 3000 Iranian game guards for protecting wildlife in Iran, Lewis remembered by name forester Mr. Fazlollah Alipour who had recently been shot to death in the line of duty by wood smugglers in the Mazandaran Province, in northern Iran.
UNIC Director Maria Dotsenko delivered the UN Secretary-General’s World Environment Day message to the participants.
More than 50 NGO representatives, government officials, journalists and UN staff members attended the four-hour seminar organized jointly by the Hormod Sustainable Development Institute (HSDI) and UNIC Tehran in partnership with UNDP.
Then, supporter of environment, artist, showman and director of popular comedy TV talk show named “Khandevaneh”, Rambod Javan, told the audience that environmental issues for him in Khandevan show is a serious matter.
“We have been trying to improve people’s culture regarding environment and consumption patterns with the help of Khandevaneh and many good things have happened so far. We started the biggest campaign in Iran with roughly 3.6 million people participate in our “Drop-Drop Campaign” which is about improving the way we consume water,” he added.
During the seminar, Mr. Javan, game guard Aminollah Bazmi Roudi, Mr. Sirous Entekhabi from Naqadeh NGOs group and Mr. Bahman Izadi from Life Campaign received letters of appreciations from UN Resident Coordinator and UNIC Director for their outstanding environmental efforts.
During the seminar artist Rambod Javan, game guard Aminollah Bazmi Roudifrom Semaskandeh Wildlife Mazandaran for his contribution to Community Waste Management Project, Mr. Sirous Entekhabi from Umbrella Group of Naghadeh NGOs, winner of 2015 UNDP Equator Initiative Prize awarded in COP21 France on revitalization of satellite wetlands of Lake Urmia, project supported by UNDP GEF Small Grants Programme and Bahman Izadi representing the Life Campaign for their outstanding environmental efforts received letters of appreciations from UN Resident Coordinator and UNIC Director. Also Representatives of AsiaTech Co., Meraj Airline and Ma Insurance Co. received certificates.
Other speakers at the seminar were Representative of Pars Herpetology Institute Mr. Barbod Safaee, who presented the Zagros Emperor Newt Project supported by UNDP GEF Small Grants Programme, Director General of Education and Popular Participation of Department of Environment Mr. Mohammad Darvish, National Coordinator of SGP/GEF/UNDP Ms. Laleh Daraie as well as members of Umbrella Group of Naghadeh NGOs, Mr. Sirous Entekhabi and Ms. Mahdie Pourshad.