People, Environment

Logging in Caspian Hyrcanian Forests Declines

Logging in Caspian Hyrcanian Forests DeclinesLogging in Caspian Hyrcanian Forests Declines

Logging in the Caspian Hyrcanian forests has dropped by 11%, according to Seyyed Vajihollah Mousavi, director of the Forestry Office at the Forest, Range and Watershed Management Organization.

About 592,000 cubic meters of timber will have been harvested from the northern forests by March 2016, down from 667,000 cubic meters in the March 2014-15 period.

“Initially, around 698,000 cubic meters were expected to be harvested this year,” he said.

Despite the decline in logging, the numbers do not seem to account for illegal logging, which has become the bane of Iran’s forests.

DOE chief and vice president, Masoumeh Ebtekar, has often appealed to authorities to help curb illegal logging and import timber to give Iranian forests some respite.

According to Hamid Gashtasb, director of Biomes and Regional Affairs Office at the DOE, “350 square meters of forests and grasslands are destroyed every second in Iran.”

By some estimates, nearly 142,000 hectares of forestlands are destroyed for various reasons in Iran every year prompting experts to warn that unless action is taken future generations would see and read about forests and jungles only in history books.

On UNESCO’s Tentative List of Heritage Sites since 2007, the Caspian Hyrcanian forests are of utmost social, biological and economic importance, and host a number of protected sites. They cover five provinces, stretching east to west along the southern border of the Caspian Sea, covering the provinces of North Khorasan, Golestan, Mazandaran, Gilan and Ardebil.