TEHRAN – A total of 210 natural resource and watershed management projects will be inaugurated by February 11, the head of the Forest, Rangeland and Watershed Management Organization has announced.
“A sum of 3.9 trillion rials (nearly $14.1 million) has been spent on these projects,” ILNA quoted Masoud Mansour as saying on Tuesday.
These projects include watershed management, aquifers, flood control, desertification, forestry development, rangeland rehabilitation, conservation and support projects aimed at conserving water and soil, protecting vegetation , prevent erosion and reduce drought and nutrition damage, he explained.
The national budget bill for Iran’s next calendar year 1401, which begins March 21, has allocated 16 trillion rials (about $53 million) for watershed management, almost four times the budget of Iran. ‘current year.
With the implementation of watershed management projects, 9 tons per hectare of water erosion have been reduced each year, and in mountainous areas, 570 cubic meters of water have been extracted per hectare.
In addition, some 1000 cubic meters of water per hectare are stored in underground aquifers and prevent the entry of 4 cubic meters of sediment behind the dams.
Iran will be among the countries with more than 10% of forests
Mansour further expressed hope that with public participation in the implementation of these projects, a big step will be taken towards improving the level of natural resources and watershed management, stating that 500 million young trees have been planted in 14 years with the participation of people and 70 institutions. in the form of a campaign called “Green and Strong Iran”.
According to the campaign, 6,700 hectares of land across the country will be planted with vegetation this year based on the ecological potential of the regions.
Iran is one of the countries with low forest cover, however, the country will be among the countries with more than 10 percent forest cover by the end of the campaign, he also said.
Ali Banagar, head of the Forestry Scientific Association affiliated with the Forest and Rangeland Research Institute, said in December 2021 that the trend of deforestation in Iran is worrying.
“Besides natural factors, construction of villas and roads, development projects, construction of dams, timber smuggling, forest encroachment and land grabbing, forest fires, extraction coal, subsistence activities, including agriculture, fuel supply and overgrazing of livestock, social and economic problems, and exploitation of natural resources, pests, environmental pollution and landfills, and many other factors have reduced the quantity and quality of forests.
Each of these variables has increased or decreased in recent years, but the result is alarming,” he explained.
Between 2015 and 2020, around 12,000 hectares of forests across the country were wiped out each year, said Reza Bayani, an official with the Forest, Range and Watershed Management Organization.
He went on to say that the forests in the country are estimated at 14.3 million hectares, the forests in the north of the country were estimated at 2,080,000 million hectares around 60 years ago, and today, they extend to 2,004,000 hectares taking into account the replanted areas.