People, Travel

First Wooden Vessel for Qeshm

First Wooden Vessel for QeshmFirst Wooden Vessel for Qeshm

The first tourist wooden boat was put out to sea in a Qeshm mangrove forest in Hara Protected Area as part of a plan to revive indigenous tradition and culture.

“A modest budget has been allotted to replace the existing fiberglass vessels with the region’s traditional wooden boats,” the director of Qeshm Geopark was quoted as saying by Donyay-e-Safar travel news website.

The move is a part of the comprehensive plan to reintroduce the geopark off the Persian Gulf on UNESCO’s List of Global Geoparks.

Qeshm Island is home to one of Iran’s seven free zones and a top holiday destination. Aside from the sandy beaches, the island’s famed mangrove forests in the Hara Protected Area draw large numbers of domestic and foreign tourists.

Hara Protected Area is one of five forests in Hormozgan Province and arguably the most important feature of Qeshm Geopark.

With an area of 85.686 hectares, Hara is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.

The geopark was the first of its kind in the Middle East to become a member of the Global Geoparks Network.

However, it was dropped from the coveted list in 2013 due to problems that have remained unresolved for too long, such underdeveloped infrastructure and unenforced environmental regulations.

Since then, Qeshm Free Zone Organization has been trying to bring the island up to international standards and has received five billion rials ($153,000) to develop infrastructure.

A geopark is a unified area with geological heritage of international significance. Geoparks use this heritage to promote awareness of key issues in the context of planet Earth.

The Global Geopark Network has been established by UNESCO to register such parks, protect geoparks, provide education and set standards for green tourism.

To comply with UNESCO standards, a geopark must have appropriate infrastructure and adequate accommodations for tourists, in line with environmental standards while protecting the natural landscape.