People, Environment

Plan to Increase Timber Import

Plan to Increase Timber ImportPlan to Increase Timber Import

Iran is set to increase its import of timber from Russia and Ukraine in an effort to reduce logging in the country and protect vulnerable forests.

“To take pressure off our forests, especially the Caspian Hyrcanian forests (along the Caspian Sea in the north), the government intends to increase wood imports,” Nasser Moqadasi, deputy director of the Forests, Range and Watershed Management Organization, was quoted as saying by IRNA.

Iran currently imports a million cubic meters of timber from Russia and Ukraine annually, but it is aiming to increase the volume by four times.

“The end goal is to import a total of 10 million cubic meters of wood every year by 2021.”

Iran’s environmental officials have long called for a national effort to curb illegal logging and reduce reliance on domestic forests to meet the growing demand for timber.

Forests cover 14 million hectares of Iran — less than 10% of the country’s land area — which is relatively small compared to the global average, but nothing short of a blessing given the country’s geography.

The Department of Environment has drafted a Forest Protection Bill, which contains measures to gradually reduce logging. Parliament has yet to review and vote on the bill.

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 and geography books.