People, Environment

Park Rangers Bill Revised by Gov’t Commission

Park Rangers Bill Revised by Gov’t CommissionPark Rangers Bill Revised by Gov’t Commission

The bill to support park rangers drafted by the Department of Environment in July 2016 has been revised by the government’s Social Affairs Commission and will be submitted to the parliament within 10 days of its approval.

Based on the bill, park rangers are covered by articles 12 to 15 of the law concerning the use of weapons in emergency situations by armed forces, ILNA reported.

This means that if the government concludes that a park ranger involved in an accident has abided by the law, it will borne the financial costs incurred by the ranger, ranging from legal fees to possible compensation demanded by the family of a poacher as a result of bodily harm or loss of life.

“Park rangers are currently allowed to use their weapons but what this bill proposes is to hold the government responsible for all their legal affairs,” said Mohammad Mojabi, DOE’s deputy for legal and parliamentary affairs.

Mojabi noted that the government must consider the potential costs related to park rangers when devising the budget bill.

The bill also states that the Expediency Council’s directive about government-sponsored insurance schemes such as liability or medical insurance must apply to park wardens and their families.

According to the bill, in case of an assault on park rangers, the legal case must be given priority and processed out of turn.

“The bill was initially devised for park rangers that patrol no-hunting zones, animal sanctuaries and other DOE-managed protected areas, but since forest rangers that protect woodlands from timber smugglers face the same issues, we requested that the bill be expanded to include this group as well,” he said.

Mojabi said negotiations have been had with Majlis Agriculture Commission and the bill will hopefully be discussed soon.

Following the murders of three park rangers in two separate incidents in one week last June, environment officials and activists have endeavored to provide better legal protection for park rangers.

Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani has pledged that any proposal concerning park rangers will be supported and quickly reviewed by the parliament.


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