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Iran: Forests' Destruction Rate Worries Experts

Tehran, 30 November 2005 (CHN) - With some 142,000 hectares of forest lands destroyed annually, Iran is considered among the top countries not safeguarding the natural heritage properly.

Forests are considered an important factor in the ecotourism industry. Based on the latest statistics, 12.48 million hectares of Iran's lands are forests, with the southern provinces of Fars and Hormozgan, and the northern province of Mazandaran enjoying the highest area of forests within one province, that is 1.2 million in Fars, some 800,000 hectares in Hormozgan, and more than one million in Mazandaran.

A report by Iran's Department of Environment does not present a hopeful feature for that part of the nature. As an example, Arasbaran forests which are designated as a reserve by UNESCO were some 250,000 to 300,000 hectares in 1976 but today destruction has left no more than 164,000 hectares of these forests.

Iran's official body in charge of preservation of forests has announced that annually 100,000 hectares of forests are revived, however, as experts note, that is really low considering the area destructede.

According to Khalad Barin, university professor, the intrusion of human beings and their cattle, plus trafficking of wood, and fires cause forests to extinguish at a high rate; moreover, although trees are planted by respective bodies to help counteract the destruction process and revive the forests, follow-up efforts are not enough or proper to make those plantings really beneficial.

The high destruction rate of forests, a key aspect of ecotourism, has positioned Iran among the top ten of the list of countries of Asia and Pacific destroying forests.

... Payvand News - 12/1/05 ... --

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