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DoE Solicits Help From Sporting Quarters

DoE Solicits Help From Sporting QuartersDoE Solicits Help From Sporting Quarters

Vice President and head of the Department of Environment Masoumeh Ebtekar, whose institution is facing an uphill task due to the multiplying environmental problems inside the country, on Thursday again appealed for help, but this time from different quarters.

"Natural attractions are among the most important aspects of tourism in Iran," she told a seminar, and voiced "concern over endangered plants and species," the protection of which is also the function of the underfunded and embattled DoE.

Elaborating the role and significance of the sports community and their outreach over key social and cultural facets, she said, "Today, more than ever before, we need athletes and champions with a popular social base to help restore and safeguard the environment."

The venue of her appeal was seminar on Sport, Youth and Environment held to find ways to foster closer collaboration on developmental and environmental issues between the DoE and the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs.

2 Main Actors

Under the banner of 'Sport for Promoting Sustainable Development', the meeting was also attended by the Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs Mahmoud Goudarzi, athletes, environment activists and friends and advocates of sustainable development.

Sport is an intricate social behavior with a huge capacity to train proper environmental behavior while the human being and the environment are two main players in the unending search for sustainable development, especially in the developing world and its omnipresent environmental and economic challenges.

Ebtekar recalled that environmental degradation is taking its toll across continents and experts stress most, if not all, of the problems arise from overconsumption and rampant waste. Climate change, greenhouse gasses, global warming, polar ice meting and rising water levels submerging islands are primary concerns that should be addressed sooner rather than later.

“Rising Water consumption and evaporation is undermining GDP growth and the pattern of resource destruction is indeed dangerous for the future generations.” According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) Iran is now facing higher temperatures that result in declining rainfall, drought and desertification.

  Worse Than Wars

The Caspian Hyrcanian mixed forests dating back 3.5 million years are endangered by deforestation. Overexploitation of natural resources and underground water is drying up lakes, rivers and wetlands.  

“The irreversible danger of dwindling environmental resources is far more disturbing than the world wars,” said Mahmod Goudarzi. The sport society, especially celebrities as national symbols, also have the obligation to help protect the environment and its sustainability by spreading awareness about the value of environmental protection and eco-friendly ways, he said.

Fifty sports federations and 31 provincial sporting organizations voluntary help protect one endangered species, the conferees were told.  The DoE is trying to gradually address environmental challenges and is eager to benefit from the “role and reach of the sporting community,” said Muhammad Darvish, head of the DoE’s education and public participation affairs.

Based on earlier agreements between DoE and the sport ministry, ‘green ambassadors’ were selected from among well-known athletes in different spheres.

‘The green environment through sport’ campaign of was unveiled and Dr. Reza Shaji was appointed head of the office. Zisttoop (bioball), a ball with 32 pictures of world endangered animal species, was donated to the FIFA museum. Each species under protection was declared as the symbol of sport federations.          

Asiatic Lion and Caspian Tiger are two major extinct Iranian mammalian species. The Asiatic Cheetah, Baluchistan Black Bear, Siberian White Crane, Caspian Seal and Persian Fallow Deer are some of the endangered species of Iran.