People, Environment

Majlis Drops Iran Environment Ministry Bill Outline

Majlis Drops Environment Ministry Bill OutlineMajlis Drops Environment Ministry Bill Outline

A proposal to elevate the status of the Department of Environment to that of a ministry has been rejected by the Majlis Social Affairs Commission.

Speaking to ISNA, Rouhollah Babaei, a member of the commission, said, “Legislators rejected the outline of the bill … It has now been dropped from our agenda.”

Lawmakers had reignited talks of turning DOE into a ministry last October, a year after efforts to elevate the department failed.

Legislators argued that the move would help “downsize the government” and give the parliament oversight over DOE’s performance.

Some, including Ali Mohammad Shaeri, the head of Majlis Agriculture Commission, said merging the DOE with the Forests, Range and Watershed Management Organization would help “create a powerful and capable ministry with sufficient workforce, strong organizational structure and appropriate funding”.

However, Massoumeh Ebtekar, the head of DOE and a vice president, and her deputies have long argued that the move will do more harm than good by granting lawmakers full control over the department’s affairs, allowing them to put a spoke in DOE’s wheels.

The sentiment is echoed by activists who say giving the parliament power over the department will lead to politics, rather than science and reason, to dictate terms to DOE.

DOE receives less funding compared to ministries and although the head of the department does not have the same political clout as a minister, Ebtekar has been given free rein to implement the country’s environmental agenda despite the opposition of vested interest groups.


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