Environmental education planned for local communities

TEHRAN – Various programs are being prepared to educate local communities to enhance environmental protection, said Hassan Akbari, natural environment and biodiversity guardian of the Department of Environment (DOE).

As most of the discoveries and help for environmental protection are made by local communities and nature lovers, we plan to organize trainings for local communities on environmental awareness and biodiversity, he explained.

Much of the country’s biodiversity is being severely eroded and over the past decade significant numbers of birds of prey such as the saker falcon, peregrine falcon, as well as bustards have been discovered and confiscated from smugglers of wildlife by local communities, he stressed.

More than 10,000 environmental offenders are caught on average every year, 70% of which are reported thanks to the cooperation of local people, who are present in protected areas and help protect the country’s biodiversity, the report reported on Friday. IRNA.

Wildlife species in danger of extinction

There are 1,300 species of animals in the country, 130 of which are endangered and threatened, Akbari said in December 2021.

More than 10,000 environmental offenders are arrested on average each year. Asiatic cheetahs, great bustards, Siberian cranes, Persian onagers and some reptiles and amphibians are among the endangered and threatened species, he said.

Smuggling and habitat destruction are the main threats to the species, and promoting a culture of environmental care and building social participation is one of the most important and most important strategies. effective in protecting the environment, he explained.

The availability of large quantities of arms and ammunition to poachers is another risk factor for wildlife populations, Akbari added.

To preserve the existing biodiversity across the vast geographical expanse of Iran, four types of areas have been designated for preservation and protection, including national parks, wildlife sanctuaries, protected areas, and national natural monuments. In 1997, the DOE supervised 7,563,983 hectares of these areas.

Currently, the monitored areas reach approximately 18.5 million hectares, including 30 national parks, 170 protected areas, 45 wildlife refuges and 37 national natural monuments.

Iran has a high species diversity due to geographical conditions, climatic diversity, huge water resources from the Caspian Sea in the north and the Persian Gulf and Arabian Sea in the south.

According to the latest studies, about 1,300 species of vertebrates including mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and aquatic fishes, about 30,000 species of invertebrates and 8,000 species of plants have been identified in the country.

Unfortunately, over the past two decades, human activities have led to an alarming degradation of ecosystems, the suppression of genes, species and biological capacities; Human threats to biodiversity have accelerated the most over the past 50 years in the entire history of human life.