Iran News ...


12/15/08

Damavand; A mountain of garbage?

 

The conditions of the first national registered natural site

دماوند؛ كوهي از زباله
نخستين اثر طبيعي ثبت‌شده‌ي ملي چه وضعيتي دارد؟

 

 

Payvand.com - It's been four months now since the registration ceremony of the first natural site has been held at the foothills of Damavand with attendance of Iran's Tourism and Cultural Heritage officials. But this mountain still struggle with garbage; as if garbage is supposed to be among the attractions of Iran's highest volcanic summit. It seems there are no measures to protect this natural phenomenon even when it is registered.

 

Majid Doroodgar, mountain guide and mountain climbing trainer who sometimes accompany tourists for climbing the Damavand peak said in an interview with ISNA's tourism correspondent: "Natives of this area don't do a thing for protecting Damavand which is an attraction and a natural site; they even don't think about this issue. Maybe because they live in a vast plain and it's not important for them that for a person coming from a crowded city like Tehran how  unpleasant it is to see a pile  of garbage and colourful plastics; and maybe they think it's people coming from other cities who have left the garbage there."

 

 

He added: "In Ordibehesht (April-May) we had a climb to Damavand summit with a foreign tourist group. At the foot of a sign which introduced Damavand as a registered siteو there were big amounts of garbage. When asked why you don't take away these garbage, the municipal workers responded that the garbage doesn't belong to Reineh region. Although we as tourists or climbers help the economy of the region and people, no natives feel responsible for cleaning and protecting the mountain."

 

Commenting on different tracks to reach the summit, this mountain climber said: "Damavand has four tracks which are south, west, northeast and north. For long distance from camp to the summit, a few climb from the west track. There are two camps on the north track but because of the lack of water few climb from there. Because of beauty and water, the northeast track is much used by people and climbers; but climbs mostly happen from the south track which animals are available for carrying the loads from the height of 3000 meter to 4150; and there are water and camp and the climbing federation representative who is the only one who have pity for this site and collect 50 dollars from every foreigners who wants to climb to the summit as entrance fee."

 

 

According to him climbers who come to Damavand haven't passed the necessary trainings and lack the culture of respecting the mountain environment and professional climbers. They don't respect the basics of the nature which is silence.

 

He considers Damavand as a topic which has been forgotten from the planning of  Tehran metropolis or Mazandaran  province planning, which he believes this mountain belongs to. He said: "Garbage collection in metropolitan regions is among the big issues and I don't think a person or a department has been assigned for cleaning the natural environment. Although still there are some climbers and climbing federation representative in Damavand who have more pity about protecting this valuable phenomenon."

 

Speaking about the condition of Damavand after registration, he said: "The registration of this mountain was only in name. Of course since it has been registered, a road which wasn't much used because of its bad condition has been repaired and now more cars can pass the road and enter Damavand territory. So the degradation process is getting faster. "

 

He mentioned the need for building new camps in Damavand and added: "A dirt road has been build for reaching the new camp at the height of 4200m to deliver the building materials and they have said that they will demolish the road after finishing the camp; but it's not an easy thing to do and any built road damages the ecosystem and the environment."

 

Doroodgar added: "Before the presence of climbing federation representative at Damavand, each foreign climber would carry one or two bags of garbage and now the representative do this. Last year about one or two lorry full of garbage has been taken down from the mountain."

 

This trainer believes that mass climbing is the key factor in deteriorating the environment of the mountain. He believes that if several thousand climbers can be reduced, other organisations won't do so much harmful action. We only have one Damavand, it is not Milad tower to be rebuilt if destroyed.

 

There have also been mines under exploitation in Damavand area, and these are not closed down yet; another mine is also going to start to dig and this process would destroy the environment here. No one stops it.

 

Commenting about the registration attempt by Tourism and cultural Heritage Organisation he said: We don't feel the presence of the organisation here.

 

Note: Original article published in Persian by ISNA.
Translated for Payvand.com by BMarz translators:
http://www.BMarz.com

... Payvand News - 12/15/08 ... --



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