People, Environment

Iran to Employ 500 Park Rangers This Year

DOE to Employ 500 Park Rangers This YearDOE to Employ 500 Park Rangers This Year

Some 500 new park rangers will be employed by the Department of Environment this year, as DOE looks to beef up security in the 280 protected areas it oversees.

According to Colonel Hamidreza Kheyldar, the head of DOE’s protection unit, 17 million hectares of land are under DOE protection, with every ranger expected to patrol and monitor around 6,000 hectares.

“This is while based on international norms, every ranger should cover only 1,000 hectares,” he was quoted as saying by Mehr News Agency.

DOE currently employs about 2,600 rangers, most of whom are poorly paid.

Kheyldar said recruiting over 500 park rangers will help boost security in protected areas.

DOE has revamped its education and training system for park rangers, since experts say the bulk of the challenges faced by wardens when dealing with poachers is rooted in their weak training.

“In this system, rangers will enroll in a course every four years and receive a certificate upon completing the training, along with a promotion and pay raise,” said Kheyldar.  

“Last year, 1,400 people were trained to work as park rangers and 400 more will be offered training on the job this year.”

Kheyldar said once the DOE-drafted bill to enhance the legal protection of park rangers is passed by lawmakers, they will receive a salary hike.

The bill approved by the government in July 2016 aims to enhance the legal rights of park rangers while imposing stricter rules for hunters, such as distinguishing between hunting and firearm permits.

If the bill is approved, hunters (except nomads) who have a firearm license cannot use their weapon for hunting unless they obtain a hunting permit from the Department of Environment.

The bill was prepared following the murder of three park rangers last June in two separate incidents that compelled both environment officials and activists to demand better legal protection for the wardens.


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