Iranian, UN Officials Discuss Environmental Protection Issues
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Head of Iran’s Environmental Protection Organization (IEPO) said in a Tuesday meeting with UN representative in Iran that dealing with such environmental problems as green house gases and global warming are in need of broader international cooperation.
The IEPO Chief Masoumeh Ebtekar said in the meeting with the UN official that the environmental issues cannot be dealt with regionally and that global attention is needed to address the environmental problems such as global warming and green house gases.
She also said that serious support of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the regional countries is required to preserve and manage lagoons and border waters as well as to control the dust storms.
UNDP is the United Nations' global development network, which works with nations on their own solutions to global and national development challenges.
The UN representative in Iran, Garry Lewis, too, for his part called for cooperations to continue and expand, especially now that a new government is in power in Iran, and urged the regional countries to join hands to tackle the common environmental problems they face.
Lewis referred to President Hassan Rouhani’s comments on environmental issues in his UN General Assembly address, including about Lake Oroumiyeh crisis, saying that the civil societies and the governments’ representatives at the meeting highly welcomed those comments.
One of the largest salt lakes in the world and classified as a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO, Lake Oroumiyeh has lost more than 60 percent of its surface over the last two decades due to drought and the damming of rivers feeding it.
Lake Oroumiyeh, in northwestern Iran near Turkey, is the largest lake inside Iran, and the third salt water lake on earth, with a surface area of approximately 5,200 square kilometers.
The disappearance of the lake could leave behind billions of tons of salt which in turn displace millions of people and endanger the ecosystem of all surrounding areas, whose economy relies on agriculture and tourism.
Two weeks after assuming office, president Rouhani set up a task group to tackle the issue of the dying lake. The group is headed by the country's energy minister and includes the agriculture minister, the interior minister, and the head of the Environment Protection Organization and a representative of the deputy president for planning and strategic supervision.