People, Environment

Law on Wetlands Protection Ready

Law on Wetlands Protection Ready
Law on Wetlands Protection Ready

A government-proposed bill to protect wetlands is now ready to be signed into law by President Hassan Rouhani, nearly two years after it was sent to the Majlis for review.

In a statement on Sunday, Vice President for Parliamentary Affairs Hosseinali Amiri said the law will go into force once the president signs it. The statement was published on the official website of the Presidential Office.

Proposed in July 2015, the bill was finally reviewed and passed by lawmakers on April 24 and approved by the Guardians Council on May 3.

The five-article bill aims to protect Iran's wetlands from any activity that "pollutes and causes irreparable damage to wetlands".

The Department of Environment will be tasked with determining the water rights of every wetland and the Energy Ministry must ensure the water rights are upheld. The bill also bans people from growing non-endemic or otherwise invasive plant species around lagoons.

"First-time offenders will not only have to compensate for the damage they inflict, but will also be fined anywhere between three and five times the damage they cause," Amiri said. Repeat offenders will be fined up to eight times the losses inflicted.

Revenue from the penalties will be used to fulfill the task of preserving and reviving endangered wetlands.

A combination of climate change, water crisis and human activities has taken a heavy toll on wetlands across Iran, turning many once-thriving lagoons into sources of dust and sand storms.


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