People, Environment

Budget to Promote Gilan's Environmental Conservation

Thanks to high rainfall, Gilan is one of Iran's greenest provinces,Thanks to high rainfall, Gilan is one of Iran's greenest provinces,

A budget of 10 billion rials ($260,000) has been earmarked for programs to promote awareness regarding environmental conservation in Gilan Province through mass and social media.  

Speaking to ILNA, Keyvan Mohammadi, the head of Gilan's Management and Planning Organization, pointed to environment as the province's primary challenge.

"Other problems can be addressed in the short run by appropriate planning and investment whereas damage to the environment can be irreparable and costly," he said, stressing the need to raise awareness and prevent problems before they happen.  

Driving his point home, he said trillions of rials have been spent on restoring Urmia Lake in northwestern Iran, but the lake has not fully recovered yet.

"The same fate might befall Gilan's wetlands and Anzali Lagoon, if timely measures are not taken to prevent disaster," he said.

The official urged all relevant authorities and the public to join hands to save the deteriorating environment.

On the last Thursday of every Iranian month, the provincial MPO holds meetings to discuss topics related to sustainable development.

According to Mohammadi, over a quarter of the sessions are devoted to ecological subjects.

He also lamented people's lack of awareness about the concept of sustainable development, whose long-term goals depend on environmental protection.

Gilan lies along the Caspian Sea in northern Iran. The province has the highest annual rainfall in Iran—4.5 times above national and 1.2 times above global averages. This has helped the growth of rich green forests that give the province a unique look and biodiversity.

Illegal logging and dam construction as well as the huge influx of tourists and campers at weekends and holidays threaten the province's environment.  

The forests are also facing a serious threat from the dumping of garbage, which is quickly turning into an environmental crisis.

Based on 2014 statistics, waste generation per person per day in Gilan is between 800 grams and 1.2 kilos—higher than the average national waste generation of 700 grams.

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