Wetlands in Critical Condition

Wetlands in Critical ConditionWetlands in Critical Condition

Around 75% of Iran’s wetlands are either endangered or in critical condition, according to the director of Iran’s Wetlands Project Mohsen Soleimani.

Speaking at the third meeting for planning integrated management of wetlands last week, Soleimani said, “Supplying the water needs of our wetlands is an important step towards restoring them,” according to ISNA news agency.

He asserted that the Iran’s current water crisis is not the sole reason behind the desiccation of the wetlands. “An often overlooked factor is urbanization close to the drainage basin of wetlands.”

The Department of Environment (DoE) is tasked with setting up boundaries around every wetland, he said.

 “It is up to everyone, from officials to the general public, to ensure the safety of these rich ecosystems.”

Recent rainfall has helped the restoration process of water bodies such as Lake Urmia, but cooperation between various organizations is an absolute necessity to revive the lake and other wetlands, the agency quoted the official as saying.

“The plan is to restore the wetlands within the next ten years,” he added.

  Wetland Biodiversity

The total area of wetlands in Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari Province is over 3000 sq meters, housing 57 different animal species, according to the head of the provincial office of Department of Environment (DoE) Shahram Ahmadi, who also addressed the meeting.

“That includes 12 protected fish species, one of which is the endemic zebrafish,” he noted.

Deputy to the governor-general of Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari Province Esmael Ameri, stressed the need to conduct thorough studies and urged researchers to double their efforts to help protect the country’s wetlands.