Deforestation in Iran disturbing: Official

TEHRAN, Apr. 21 (MNA) – Adviser to head of Department of Environment has warned about the disturbing rate of deforestation in Iran.

Esmail Kahrom who was speaking to Mehr News on the occasion of International Mother Earth Day, said that according to NASA aerial pictures, 1 to 1.5 per cent of Iran’s forests were destroyed, and “with the current deforestation, Iran will have no forest by next 75 to 100 years.”

“The International Mother Earth Day was for the first time called by two American university students in 1971 in protesting pollution of water, air and soil; it was really a public commemoration and since then, every year, 20 million Americans participate in making a human chain in protesting pollution and destruction of earth and its resources,” he detailed.

“The Day (April 22) is commemorated in Iran as well; however, what is obvious, is that symbolic moves and rituals to honor the Mother Earth would not solve all problems overnight; the important thing is to publicize and discuss in all days of the year the problems of earth in schools, mass media, and universities,” said Kahrom.

Kahrom pointed to 18 million/hours of compositions written a few years ago on Mother Earth Day; “such an educational act is far more effective than bland and fruitless conferences held around the world on this day,” he objected.

On the most important issues the country faces, Kahrom said that as Iran received precipitation well below the global average, and was located in semi-arid and arid climate, “most of our problems have roots in water shortage.”

“Issues suffered by wetlands and lakes, and underground water have also roots of water shortage; however, mismanagement and unregulated planning inter alia, depleting wells confound the issue to the point of soil downdrifts and lower underground water levels especially in country’s most arid provinces,” Kahrom admitted.

“For years, Iran had been in first or second place in terms of soil erosion; deforestation and turning forests to ranges and cultivable land, and abandoning it after few years of cultivation due to overuse contribute the most to soil erosion,” he said. “By the next 75 or 100 years, no forest or thick plant cover will be seen in the country and the soil will be subject to severe erosion factors of water and wind,” Kahrom lamented.

He cited soil and water pollution due to mismanagement and failure to address the recycling municipality waste as other grave problems; “water pollution by pollutant such as nitrates and nitrites is a reality, since half of the water used is provided by underground water source, which actively absorbs the chemicals in city wastewater,” he told Mehr News.

“However, I admit that the water treatment systems and plants eliminates much of these chemicals, which makes the much of media propaganda on pollution of water and the uninhabitable nature of Tehran by few upcoming years unacceptable,” he concluded.

 

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