Spring Water Transfer a Threat to Forest Species

Spring Water Transfer a Threat to Forest SpeciesSpring Water Transfer a Threat to Forest Species

A representative of Aliabad-e Katoul in Golestan Province in the parliament has objected to the transfer of spring water from Abr Forest to the city of Shahroud in northeastern Iran for posing a threat to the forest plant and animal species.  

Asadollah Qarekhani also told ISNA on Tuesday that the Energy Ministry plans to transfer spring water for agricultural purposes, which will leave behind only saline water in the forest.

Qarekhani noted that the water transfer will lead to the extinction of many plant species, some of which were recently inscribed on UNESCO’s heritage list like yew shrubs and Hyrcanian plants with broad flat leaves.

“Iranian cheetahs, an endangered animal inhabiting the protected area of Abr Forest, will also be at risk,” he said.

The Majlis representative regretted that the water transfer would serve opportunists well, but at the expense of inflicting serious environmental damage on the forest.  

Qarekhani expressed concerns over the “non-expert decisions of the Ministry of Energy” that could create conflicts among environmentalists, the locals and the body in charge of executing the water transfer.

Among opposing voices are the head of the Department of Environment’s provincial office and Golestan Justice department, however, the lawmaker lamented that the project is continuing. Water transfer projects have been criticized, as they wreak havoc and leave adverse environmental impacts.

Abr Forest is one of the oldest and most beautiful forests of Iran.


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