People, Environment

2 Tons of Illegally-Logged Timber Seized in Iran

2 Tons of Illegally-Logged Timber Seized
2 Tons of Illegally-Logged Timber Seized

Some 2 tons of illegally-logged Alder wood were seized in a raid on a lumber mill in Amol, Mazandaran Province.

To protect forests and prevent timber smuggling, a number of workshops were inspected on Tuesday by the local law enforcement in collaboration with agents from the provincial office of the Forests, Range and Watershed Management Organization. According to YJC, the mill's manager was arrested and handed over to judicial authorities, while the seized timber was transferred to the FRWO office.

Alder is the common name of a flowering tree with light tan to reddish brown wood color. In Iran, the tree species is found in the northern forests of Mazandaran, Golestan and Gilan provinces and also Taleqan, Lahijan, Astara and Talesh cities.

Forests cover less than 10% of the entire landmass in Iran, but the level of protection they currently receive does not correctly reflect their importance to the country, the people and the wildlife they support. Adding to the problem, forests have been besieged by timber smugglers.

In January, the parliament adopted a law that imposed a total ban on exploiting Caspian Hyrcanian forests for 10 years. The ban will be implemented in stages and go into full effect in 2020.

It also bans the government from renewing logging licenses.

Annual demand for timber in Iran is 7-10 million cubic meters and is expected to reach 13 million cubic meters in five years.

Iran has lined up several measures to alleviate the mounting pressure on forests, such as increasing timber imports from Russia and Ukraine to reduce logging and protect the Caspian Hyrcanian forests.

Tehran currently imports a million cubic meters of timber from Russia and Ukraine annually, but wants to increase the volume fourfold. The goal is to import 10 million cubic meters of wood annually by 2021.

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