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Annual demand for timber in Iran is 7-10 million cubic meters and is expected to reach 13 million cubic meters in five years.
Annual demand for timber in Iran is 7-10 million cubic meters and is expected to reach 13 million cubic meters in five years.

80% of Logging Licenses Will Not Be Extended

The plan this year is to stop excessive logging in 250,000 hectares of the Caspian Hyrcanian forests

80% of Logging Licenses Will Not Be Extended

In line with a law passed in the last Iranian year (ended March 20, 2017), Iran will not renew 80% of logging permits in the Caspian Hyrcanian forests in the north.
Khodakaram Jalali, the head of the Forests, Range and Watershed Management Organization, said on Sunday that the plan this year "is to stop excessive logging in 250,000 hectares of our northern forests", the official government website Dolat.ir reported.
That translates to 80% of contracts signed with state and privately-owned companies, most of which are set to expire this year.
"We strive to uphold our end of the deal and meet our obligations … Our measures are in line with the law," he said.
Jalali said the remaining contracts, which allow logging in 150,000 hectares, will end or be canceled in the next Iranian year (starting March 21, 2018).
Lawmakers passed a law in January, which places a complete ban on exploiting Caspian Hyrcanian forests for 10 years. The ban is implemented in stages and it will go into effect by 2020 at the latest.
The law also forbids the government from renewing logging licenses that expire from the day the bill was approved (Jan. 12).
Before the end of last Iranian year, the government canceled 15 logging licenses, which pertained to about 145,000 hectares.
The administration will not be allowed to issue new licenses to exploit the receding forests. It is also tasked with ensuring that the scheme receives adequate funding for its implementation.
The protection scheme is committed to underpin a three-year-old government directive that only allows diseased, dead and broken trees to be used for timber.
Annual demand for timber in Iran is 7-10 million cubic meters and is expected to reach 13 million cubic meters in five years.
Iran has lined up several measures to alleviate the mounting pressure on forests, such as increasing timber imports from Russia and Ukraine to reduce logging and protect its forests.
Tehran currently imports 1 million cubic meters of timber from Russia and Ukraine annually, but wants to increase the volume fourfold. The goal is to import 10 million cubic meters of wood every year by 2021.
"We're not trying to liberate the forests; we're only giving them a chance to recover from excessive logging," Jalali said.

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