People, Environment

Court Cancels Cabinet's Anzali Directive

Court Cancels Cabinet's Anzali DirectiveCourt Cancels Cabinet's Anzali Directive

The Court of Administrative Justice last week ruled against a directive by the Cabinet that aimed to add more than 6,000 hectares of land to Anzali Free Trade Zone, on the grounds that the designated land is a protected area.

Based on the directive, around 6,266 hectares were to come under the management of the free trade zone, but the court ruled that large swathes of the land "are in the precincts of Boujagh National Park and Anzali Wetland", a statement on the court's website reads.

According to the constitution, the natural environment must be preserved "to help the current and future generations grow and prosper". The protection of the environment is a responsibility of every single member of the society, hence "no activities that can cause pollution or irreparably damage the environment are allowed".

Anzali Wetland in Gilan Province has been battling pollution for years, with efforts to stop and reverse the destruction failing to deliver results.

Local environment officials say 10 rivers that feed the wetland bring with them 250,000 cubic meters of sediment every year, which have reduced the depth of the lagoon to one meter, down from nine meters 40 years ago.

Furthermore, the wetland is threatened by two invasive plant species, water hyacinth and water ferns native to the tropical regions.

Anzali Free Trade Zone is the most active port city in northern Iran with an annual capacity of handling 7 million tons of cargo.

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