People, Environment

Qeshm Biodiversity Fund for Middle East Researchers

Qeshm Biodiversity Fund for Middle East ResearchersQeshm Biodiversity Fund for Middle East Researchers

Qeshm Free Zone Organization will soon launch what it calls the Middle East Biodiversity Conservation Fund to provide support for researchers and specialists in the field.

The project, which is slated to finish by the end of the current Iranian year (March 20, 2017), will serve to “finance environmental projects involving biodiversity research and educating schoolchildren and the local population about the importance of conservation”, Farzin Haqdel, a deputy QFZO, was quoted as saying by IRNA.

According to the official, those interested from all Middle Eastern countries can submit their proposals once the application period is open, which should be soon.

“All the proposals will be studied and evaluated by a qualified team, which will select three proposals in each category (research, teaching students and training locals),” he said, adding that the fund will partially finance each project.

Haqdel expressed concern about the current level of protection that the environment receives, adding that conservation tops the agenda of the organization.

“Economic development in the Middle East has come at the expense of the environment,” he said, expressing hope that the fund will help reverse some of the environmental impacts of the region’s push for development.

The fund is a tribute to veteran activist and former head of Qeshm’s Department of Environment, Bijan Farhang Darehshouri, who is credited with establishing the Qeshm Geopark and saving the hawksbill sea turtle from extinction in Iran.