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08/27/13

Iran's Natural Heritage: A Catalyst Symposium to Spark Measurable Change

Source: Iran Heritage Foundation

Symposium

  • 18th January 2014: Royal Geographical Society, Kensington Gore, London SW7 2AR
  • 19th January 2014: Asia House, 63 New Cavendish Street, London W1G 7LP


Photos: A Lone Persian Cheetah at Turan National Park

Organised by

Iran Heritage Foundation in association with London Middle East Institute, Persian Wildlife Heritage Foundation, Persian Wildlife Foundation, International Institute for Environment and Development, and I.B. Tauris.

Topics

  • Wildlife and habitats
  • Water and air pollution

Introduction: A Catalyst for Measurable Change

A natural forest logged and reduced to scrub or a productive wetland reclaimed to arable land is as much a loss of heritage as a listed building reduced to rubble. We not only draw aesthetic sustenance from our natural heritage, it is the basic element from which we derive our food, raw materials and the very oxygen we breathe.

Isolated and impoverished by trade sanctions for almost 35 years, Iran's deteriorating environment has gone largely unnoticed by the outside world. While the poorest nomads and farmers feel the immediate impact of land degradation, none of us can anticipate the ramifications should we lose forever the Asiatic Cheetah, Siberian Crane or the Hawksbill Sea Turtle, 3 of the 78 threatened species present in Iran. It is time to consider how we can better support the Iranian environmentalist community striving to reverse the loss of nature, habitat and vital agricultural land; to enable them to access learning and financial help from across the world and implement the best solutions for a sustainable future of Iran's natural heritage.

Iran is almost entirely surrounded by mountain ranges framing a massive and largely arid central plateau, bordering the Caspian Sea there are significant forest areas with exceptional plant diversity. Iran's diverse landscape boasts a rich fauna of vertebrate species: mammals, birds; reptiles; amphibians; and freshwater fish, many of which are listed as threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Moreover, many plant species of commercial value, as well as medicinal and aromatic varieties originate from Iran. The country is home to about 1900 endemic plant species and forests cover 12.4 million hectares including 10,000 hectares of mangroves along the Persian Gulf.

This symposium will gather together international NGOs, conservation practitioners and internationally renowned scholars to highlight and discuss the challenges and demands that face Iran and the preservation of its unique ecology: its ecosystems, habitats, wildlife and natural environments.

Programme & Registration

Details of the programme and how to register will be released in November 2013.


Photos: Golestan National Park, Iran

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