People, Environment

Call for Speedy Approval of Park Rangers Bill

Call for Speedy Approval of Park Rangers BillCall for Speedy Approval of Park Rangers Bill

Massoumeh Ebtekar, the head of the Department of Environment, hoped legislators would not challenge the bill in support of park rangers and called on lawmakers to fast-track its approval.

During a meeting held on Thursday to review the bill, Ebtekar said, “To resolve the problems of park rangers, the government has so far taken a number of steps such as granting ranks, offering training programs and helping the release of park wardens who were on death row (for killing poachers in gunfights).”

The DOE chief added that more needs to be done to provide full support, both legal and financial, to the DOE’s law enforcement units, Mehr News Agency reported.

“We will pursue the bill until it becomes law,” she said.

The bill was drafted following the murder of three park rangers in early June and is slated to be submitted to the Majlis for final approval after it is reviewed by First Vice President Es’haq Jahangiri.

Honoring the memory of the recently martyred park rangers, Ebtekar said creating a safe environment and ensuring legal support for protectors of nature will encourage them to take an even stronger stance against violators.

Reducing the number of working hours, recruiting more forces, upgrading the equipment and installing state-of-the-art monitoring systems are among measures that need to be taken, according to the official.

Ebtekar, who is also a vice president, stressed that the collaboration of all relevant bodies will help make the bill more effective.

She said improving park rangers’ financial status and organizing specialized training courses for them are top priorities, adding that the current educational programs will continue both on a national and international scale.

Also attending the meeting was Mohammad Mojabi, DOE’s deputy for legal and parliamentary affairs, who said the department is seeking to expand the bill to cover protection units of all organizations, including the Forests, Range and Watershed Management Organization, Iran’s Fisheries Organization and Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization.