World Heritage Status Eludes Mt. Damavand

World Heritage Status Eludes Mt. Damavand
World Heritage Status Eludes Mt. Damavand

On the UNESCO Tentative List since 2008, world heritage-status has eluded Mount Damavand due to the area’s declining environmental condition.

Speaking at an event to mark National Mount Damavand Day on Friday, Esmaeil Kahrom, an advisor to the head of the Department of Environment, Massoumeh Ebtekar, said overgrazing and excessive constructions have dealt a blow to Mt. Damavand’s chances of inscription on the UNESCO World Heritage List, Mehr News Agency reported.

He said grazing at an altitude of over 2,000 meters and construction in the area surrounding natural heritage sites are banned by UNESCO, calling on experts and the general public to double their efforts to help inscribe the site on the World Heritage List.

 Protective Measures

Head of Mazandaran Governorate’s Social Affairs Department, Ali Shadman, said plans to preserve Mount Damavand aim to prevent another “Lake Urmia debacle”.

“Mining activities on the foothills of Damavand have stopped and their permits have been revoked,” he said, adding that no construction is allowed in the mountains and along the rivers.

He stressed that those found in violation will be prosecuted.

Mount Damavand was registered as a national heritage in Iran in 2008, making it a protected site where any form of construction requires certain permits. However, mining activities continued until fairly recently.

Loads of garbage from neighboring towns and villages are being dumped in certain areas of Damavand, polluting the waters and streams, and destroying the natural site with non-biodegradable waste.