People, Environment

Forestry Rules Tightened

Forestry Rules TightenedForestry Rules Tightened

Lawmakers on Tuesday approved an article in the draft budget for the current fiscal year (started March 20) that aims to protect forests from overexploitation.

As reported by the IRIB News Agency, Article 32 of the bill calls for judicious use of forest resources and allows for “exploitation of woodlands based on their ecological capacity.”

In order to use forest resources efficiently, permission of the highest ranking authority is required. Overexploitation of forests and/or use of their resources without permission will result in fines up to five times the damage caused by perpetrators. This includes damage inflicted on ranges and wildlife habitats.

The penalties will have to be paid to the national treasury and will be used to help restore and preserve natural environments.

Forests cover 14 million hectares of Iran — less than 10% of the land area — which is relatively small compared to the global average, but nothing short of a blessing given the country’s location in an arid and semi-arid region.

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 will be bereft of this crucial natural resource.