48517
The Supreme Court’s verdict could cost the Caspian Hyrcanian forests the chance of being inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.
The Supreme Court’s verdict could cost the Caspian Hyrcanian forests the chance of being inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.

FRWO Pledges to Prevent Destruction of Forests by Oqaf

Oqaf has laid claim to about 2 million hectares of what are considered natural resources across the country

FRWO Pledges to Prevent Destruction of Forests by Oqaf

Iran’s top authority on forests affairs has taken a tough stance against the ceding of 5,600 hectares of Caspian Hyrcanian forests to the Endowment and Charity Affairs Organizations (known commonly in Iran as Oqaf) by the Supreme Court, pledging to protect the woodlands whether the verdict is overturned or not.
Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Khodakaram Jalali, the head of Forests, Range and Watershed Management Organization (FRWO), said his office will pursue the issue until the court’s ruling is overturned, and vowed to “prevent the destruction of the stretch of forest and stop plans to change land use”.
About four years ago, Mazandaran Province’s Oqaf office laid claim to a 5,600-hectare plot of the forest in Aq Mashhad, just south of Sari in Mazandaran, claiming that the land had been bequeathed unto it.
The court rejected their case on the grounds that forests are public property and cannot be owned by a single entity and therefore cannot be endowed, a ruling that was upheld by an appeals court.
Waqf in Islamic jurisprudence is defined as an inalienable religious endowment involving the donation of money, building or a plot of land to a charitable trust.
However, Oqaf took the matter to the country’s top court, which overturned the previous verdicts and ceded the ownership of the forest land to Oqaf two months ago.
When Oqaf set out to cut down the trees and initiate a development project, the provincial FRWO office intervened, prompting Oqaf to lodge a complaint against the sole entity in the country tasked with the protection of forests, because from a legal standpoint the organization does not have any rights to the land anymore.
Under the threat of arrest, Sattar Babaei, director of Mazandaran’s FRWO office, has been summoned to court, according to the Persian daily Iran.
Jalali, who doubles as a deputy minister of agriculture, said his office has invoked Article 477 of the Code of Criminal Procedure which, if accepted, allows the Council of Protection of Public Assets to review and overrule the Supreme Court’s verdict in special circumstances.
“You need to own a property before you can bequeath it; so how is it possible to hand over a plot of land that is public property and cannot be given to anyone?” he asked.

  2 Million Hectares of “Bequeathed” Land
Jalali said Oqaf has laid claim to about 2 million hectares of what are considered natural resources across the country, but the FRWO has been working tirelessly to get them back.
“We signed a memorandum of understanding with [Oqaf] four years ago to resolve the problem and get the lands back,” he said, adding that experts have studied about a million hectares of the lands, 700,000 hectares of which have now been returned to FRWO.
“We hope the judiciary shows the same level of concern and sensitivity it has always shown to national natural resources in resolving the issue of the Aq Mashhad land,” he added.
Observers say the Supreme Court’s ruling will harm the national campaign to protect Iran’s dwindling forests against illegal logging and unrestrained development, and may even cost the Caspian Hyrcanian forests the chance of being inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.

Short URL : http://goo.gl/I8LPrR
  1. http://goo.gl/pzjrY3
  • http://goo.gl/KgeQw8
  • http://goo.gl/tx8ORh
  • http://goo.gl/5a6oY5
  • http://goo.gl/r9C008

You can also read ...

Green Light to Diesel Ban in Germany
German cities have been given the go-ahead to ban older diesel...
At Least 15 Killed in Somaliland Tropical Cyclone
At least 15 people have died in Somaliland after heavy rains...
Cheetah Back on Team Melli Apparel
In response to widespread criticism by environmental groups,...
Wildlife Wetland Struggling Against Contaminants
Kanibarazan Wetland, a top bird-watching spot in Mahabad...
Urmia in Better State After Rainfalls
Water level of the long-time embattled Urmia Lake in northwest...
Expert Warning on Killer Fungi
A biology expert has warned against eating wild mushrooms that...

Trending

Googleplus