People, Environment

Respite for Gavkhouni Wetland

Respite for Gavkhouni WetlandRespite for Gavkhouni Wetland

The presence of flamingos and other migratory birds in and around Gavkouni Wetland can only mean one thing: the lagoon is reborn.

The revival of Gavkhouni in southeastern Isfahan Province in the midst of an aggressive drought cycle comes thanks to a combination of natural causes and human factors.

“In addition to good rainfall, a joint effort involving the Department of Environment and the general public has helped restore the famed wetland to some extent, IRNA reported.

Upholding the water rights of Gavkhouni, dredging rivers, ensuring uninterrupted water flow into the wetland even during farming season, closing illegal wells and releasing treated wastewater into the wetland are among the measures taken to save the Ramsar Convention-listed wetland.

Also referred to as the Convention on Wetlands, the Ramsar Convention is an intergovernmental treaty signed in 1971 that provides the framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and judicious use of wetlands and their resources.

It recognizes the fundamental ecological functions of wetlands and their economic, cultural, scientific, and recreational value. It is named after the city of Ramsar in northern Iran, where the convention was signed.

Gavkhouni is a brackish lake with limited reed vegetation, and both it and the marshes of the lower Zayndehroud River, which feeds the wetland, are subject to seasonal floods. Much of the original marshland has been converted into farmland to take advantage of region’s rich soil. The site is important for staging (resting and feeding area) and wintering for several species of migratory waterbirds.

With an area of around 480 square kilometers, Gavkhuni has the potential to turn into a massive source of dust storms should it completely dry up.