Environment
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DOE to Employ 300 Park Rangers

DOE to Employ 300 Park Rangers DOE to Employ 300 Park Rangers

The Department of Environment has announced a plan to hire 300 local park rangers to make up for its dire lack of workforce to protect natural reserves. 

According to Manouchehr Fallahi, deputy head of the protection unit at the DOE, there are over 17 million hectares of protected area under the management of the DOE with merely 3,000 rangers to guard them.

"Besides, given the conditions of the job, these rangers are not on duty all at a time and work in shifts," ISNA quoted him as saying in a radio program.  

As per global standards, each park ranger should be responsible to cover 1,000 hectares of area, while in Iran, they protect 8,500 hectares which means an area 8.5 times larger than the international norm, he added. The official noted that based on the DOE's organizational chart, 7,340 rangers should be employed to cover all DOE protected areas. 

  Severe Shortage 

"There is a 50% shortage of workforce which is due to lack of budget," he said. 

This puts extra pressure on the current rangers. Iranian rangers actually work 432 hours in a month and this is much extra workload because according to the Constitution, only 176 hours of monthly work is defined in the job description of a park ranger.

Fallahi hoped the rangers' overwork will be compensated by overtime pay although that directly depends on the budget and management strategies of provincial offices.

Park rangers have long complained of poor pay and legal protection. Regrettably, lack of an independent budget for the protection unit has caused some problems for the park wardens concerning the payment, insurance and needed equipment. 

What is more, many park rangers have been charged in the past with manslaughter for killing illegal hunters in gunfights.

Thankfully, a directive issued by the General Staff of the Armed Forces recently entitled the Department of Environment's Protection Unit to receive a share of the state budget. 

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