Tree Felling Continues Despite Heavy Penalties

Tree Felling Continues Despite Heavy PenaltiesTree Felling Continues Despite Heavy Penalties

The Urban Planning Commission of Tehran City Council believes that increasing the fine for felling trees has not stopped the process in the capital. Those who cut 150 trees in Tehran last week were sentenced to only pay $1.88 million but the environmental damage caused is far greater and irreversible.

Mohammad Mehdi Tondguyan, commission member, told Mehr News Agency about the latest plan to make it obligatory for Tehran Municipality not to issue construction permits in green spaces and also follow up on building projects where illegal cutting of trees has taken place. Three commissions in the city council are examining such cases to ensure that prohibiting tree felling would be guaranteed.

He asserted the plan was to combat increasing tree felling in the city. It is still being surveyed from the point of view of Islamic jurisprudence (Fiqh) according to which “individual rights of ownership come before public ownership. Therefore until the issue is not resolved the plan cannot be put into operation.”

 Environmental Damage

Tondguyan pointed to the recent instance of tree felling and said the “penalty levied on this terrible incident is least important as the damage to the environment caused cannot be compensated in any way.” However, there is a formula for calculating the fine for cutting trees based on their age, roots, species, etc.

Illegal tree felling has been going on for years and imposing heavy fine has not curtailed the process. Besides, no amount of fine can match the profits earned from the construction business thereby preventing the illegal deed.

He called on the municipality to stop issuing permits to building contractors who destroy green landscapes and trees as a solution and hoped the judicial system would collaborate with the city council to fulfill the objectives.