‘Save Zayandehrud’ Petition to UNESCO

‘Save Zayandehrud’ Petition to UNESCO‘Save Zayandehrud’ Petition to UNESCO

An environmentalist and civil activist announced that a 600-meter-long signed petition seeking to save the Zayandehrud River is to be sent to UNESCO and other international organizations concerned, as well as the office of the supreme leader.

Seyed Mahmoud Mousavi said the survival of Isfahan’s historical bridges depends directly on the river water as the mortar used in the foundation is preserved only by the water flow, ISNA quoted him as saying.

In the case of Jahan Nama Tower and Naqshe-Jahan Square in Isfahan, UNESCO kept up its pressure on the local municipality to safeguard the historic sites. “Therefore, UNESCO can be a great help in preserving the priceless historical bridges of Isfahan,” he said.

According to the resolutions of the Ramsar International Conference, UNESCO can and is expected to take an initiative to save Zayandehrud and Gavkhouni lagoon. Their plight has become a common concern in Isfahan Province and “the social and psychological consequences it may cause. Signing this petition is to draw the attention of the authorities,” Mousavi asserted.

Since the summer, 30 petition rolls 20 meters long, have been signed by various officials in provincial offices and municipalities and by parliamentarians, NGOs, and environmental institutions. The petitions were later placed at Siosepol, also called the Allah-Verdi Khan Bridge, the famous historical bridge across Zayandehrud in Isfahan, for the public to sign.

  Outside Support

Mousavi pointed out that 40% of the signatories are not from Isfahan. Zlatko Kranjar, the Croatian football manager and former coach of Sepahan football team, one of the top Iranian football clubs based in Isfahan, is among the signatories along with other members of the team.

The petitions brought the issue under the spotlight as was seen during the last visit of the president and his ministers to Isfahan, the environmentalist noted.

The drying up of Gavkhouni lagoon is a potential threat to the central region and would not only result in huge damage to agriculture and destruction of Isfahan’s historical bridges but will also lead to “a vast dust haze pervading neighboring provinces as well.”

Poor management and violating the river water rights are the main causes compounded by indiscriminate use by farmers. “Drought only shares 10% of the blame,” Mousavi stressed.

  Water Transfer

On the water transfer from Karoun River in Khuzestan Province, to revive Zayandehrud River, and consequently “the conflicts,” Mousavi said: “Isfahan has sought only a part of Karoun waters to save and revive the Zayandehrud. Residents of Isfahan have always had a good relationship with the people of Khuzestan, especially during the 8-year Iran-Iraq war, when they welcomed families from the war-stricken areas. Unfortunately some websites in Khuzestan are provoking people with wrong information on the subject resulting in some misunderstanding between the two provinces”, he added.

Due to these issues, the two projects of water transfer in Behesht-Abad and Golab-do Tunnel have been suspended indefinitely.