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Iran, Japan ink deal to save Anzali wetland

TEHRAN, Nov. 8 (Mehr News Agency) - Iran's Department of the Environment (DOE) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) signed a two-year agreement here on Wednesday to start the Anzali Wetland Ecological Management Project to save the deteriorating Anzali wetland in the northern province of Gilan.

JICA Senior Advisor Yoshiharo Yamada, dispatched by JICA Headquarters in Tokyo, Iranian Department of the Environment Deputy Director Delavar Najafi Hajipur, and Gilan DOE Director Kamran Zolfinejad inked the deal to commence implementation of the project, which was initially recommended in the JICA Master Plan Study of 2003 to 2005.

The Master Plan Study concluded that a fifteen-year integrated conservation plan is necessary to save the Anzali wetland.

The Japanese side is to assist Iran in establishing a conservancy to improve cross-sectoral coordination between stakeholder organizations including the Gilan DOE, Gilan Governor General's Office, Gilan Regional Water Board, Gilan Water and Wastewater Company, Gilan Cultural Heritage and Tourism Department, and other relevant bodies.

The Anzali Wetland, located on the southern coast of the Caspian Sea, is an important wetland for migratory birds and in 1975 was registered as a Ramsar site in accordance with the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance.

However, the wetland is getting drier and shrinking and its water quality is deteriorating due to the inflow of wastewater, solid waste, and sediment from the catchment area.

"I believe that the Iranian nation is a peace-loving and nature-loving people. I'm very happy to transfer Japanese technology and expertise in the field of environmentalism to our Iranian friends," Resident Representative of the JICA Iran Office Hiroshi Kurakata told the Tehran Times correspondent.

"JICA would like to contribute to the conservation of the environment of this beautiful country," he added.

... Payvand News - 11/9/06 ... --

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