Japan is a longstanding donor and partner of UNDP in Iran.
For more than seven years, together with national partners including the Department of Environment (DoE), we have been working in the Lake Urmia Basin in over 180 villages of East and West Azerbaijan provinces implementing sustainable solutions to support livelihoods and green economy with the ultimate goal of protecting and reviving Lake Urmia.
Situated in Northwest of Iran, Lake Urmia is the biggest Salt Lake in Iran and part of a unique biodiversity-rich ecosystem of freshwater wetlands and rivers that are essential to the livelihoods of more than 5 million people living in the basin. During the past decade, this Ramsar Site – which is also a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and a National Park – has been shrinking at an alarming rate due to man-made problems and climate change.
To review the results of our ongoing initiative in support of Lake Urmia restoration, and to meet with local authorities and the local communities involved in this project, a mission to the field took place from 5 to 7 July. H.E. Mr. AIKAWA, Ambassador of Japan, Mr. Claudio Providas, UNDP Resident Representative in Iran along with project staff members were part of the visiting delegation.
During his meeting with Mr. Javad Rahmati the Deputy Governor of East Azerbaijan province, Mr. AIKAWA said: "Good efforts have been made to revitalize Lake Urmia and I am very happy to see that the Lake is being revived and we hope to take more steps in this regard with the sympathy and cooperation of the related bodies. Japan will continue to contribute to the sustainable agriculture in this region with its partner UNDP.”