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May 31 2016
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'Car-free Tuesdays' gains momentum in Iran

- The campaign for car-free Tuesdays, which is gaining momentum across Iran, was actually mounted last November in Arak, a city overburdened by its too many pollutant industries. - 5/30/16

How Leonardo DiCaprio became unlikely champion in Iran

- Iranians were elated when they discovered that actor Leonardo DiCaprio had shared on his Instagram account a photo of Iran. DiCaprio, a champion environmentalist, republished The Weather Channel's photo of drying Lake Urmia to bring attention to climate change. -Holly Dagres, Al-Monitor - 5/24/16

Posters on streets help to promote environmental culture: artist

- One of the most important steps needed to be taken towards having a better environment is to raise public awareness and artistic works ranging from films to paintings and graphic designs as a global language can set the scene for such accomplishment. -Maryam Qarehgozlou, Tehran Times - 5/23/16

Local Villagers in Iran Revived the Once Drying Lake Bazangan

- Covering an area of about 52 hectares in its glory days, Bazangan or "Kol Bibi" Lake is located east of the very wealthy city of Mashhad and is the largest natural lake in north east of Iran. The local and federal authorities never even started a "save lake Bazangan" initiative, no governmental or international aid was made available and the Iranian Department of the Environment did absolutely nothing. - 5/22/16

Transfer of the Caspian Sea Waters is a violation of the International Law

- Plans to transfer Caspian Sea waters have been discussed, studied and followed by the Caspian Sea littoral and non-littoral countries in the past and they are subject of serious debates at present. However, it seems that major transfer of the Caspian Sea waters, unilaterally and without the consent of all other littoral states is not compatible with the international law and even if a consensus is reached in this regard. -Bahman Aghai Diba - 5/1/16

Saving Iran's Precious Lake Urmia

- Many of Iran's once flourishing wetlands have dried dramatically in recent years. Lake Urmia in particular, the sixth largest salt lake in the world and a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, is dangerously receding and threatens to vanish entirelly. Spanning an area larger than the Dead Sea and the Great Salt Lake combined, the dwindling lake lies tucked in the Zagros Mountain range in northwest Iran near the Turkish border. -Ramin Skibba, Scientific America - 4/29/16

Iran's Foreign Minister signs Paris Agreement on climate change

- Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has signed the historic Paris Agreement on climate change during a ceremony at the United Nations headquarters in New York. French President Francois Hollande was the first leader who signed the deal on Friday. According to UN, a record 175 countries, including the world's top producers of greenhouse gases China and the United States, inked the accord, raising hopes of restraining global warming. - 4/23/16

Environmental awareness measures come to Iranian universities, schools

- Iran's Department of the Environment has announced that two Environmental Studies credits have been approved as requirements for the completion of all university degrees. Universities have also reportedly been working with nursery and elementary schools to train early childhood educators and teachers to introduce environmental knowledge and awareness in the early stages of children's education. - 4/22/16

Iran cracks down on use of animals in circuses

- Bears, tigers, crocodiles and lions can breathe a sigh of relief as their use as circus animals has been outlawed due to pressure from animal rights groups. Iran's Environmental Protection Agency announced that the bill has taken effect six months earlier than planned. - 4/18/16

Flood problems spread across Iran

- Iran's meteorological reports warn of floods in 14 provinces including Tehran. Meanwhile the death toll from floods in western Iran has reached three. Khuzestan has so far sustained the worst damage, and most of its northern townships have been evacuated. - 4/16/16

Rising dust particles force school closures in Iran's Khuzestan province

- Schools in Abadan and Khoramshahr have once again been shut down due to the rise of airborne dust particles during the afternoon shift of Tuesday April 12. IRNA reports that provincial officials say the concentration of dust particles has risen beyond 12 times the acceptable level. - 4/14/16

Desalination of Persian Gulf waters proposed as solution for Iran's water crisis

- Iran's minister of power announced that the government will be implementing a project to produce drinking water from the Persian Gulf and Sea of Oman for transfer to 17 provinces in Iran's central plateau. - 4/1/16

Lawyer Who Took on Ahmadinejad Says Iranians Should Sue Government for Pollution Crisis

- Iranians have a constitutional right to take their government to court and seek damages for worsening environmental pollution, attorney Mostafa Tork Hamadani told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. - 3/22/16

Iran's Struggle with Air Pollution

- Iran's pollution, a decades-old issue, has steadily increased in recent years, claiming lives and damaging healthy lungs. Iran's most recent official statistics concludes that, on average, one person dies of pollution-related causes in the capital, Tehran, every two hours. -Mehrnaz Samimi - 3/9/16

Protests in Tehran sparked by abuse of dog leads to violent arrests

- Reports from Iran indicate that protests staged by animal rights activists in front of Parliament on Wednesday February 25 were met with a violent reaction from the authorities, and a number of the activists were beaten and arrested. - 2/26/16

Ahvaz air pollution skyrockets due to dust particles

- Officials in the city of Ahvaz, capital of Khuzestan Province in southwestern Iran, say the concentration of dust particles in the city's air has risen to over 24 times the acceptable level. - 2/24/16

Dog-Beating Video Sparks Protests In Tehran

- Adisturbing video of a hunter in northern Iran brutally beating his dog has triggered a rare public protest in the capital, where dozens gathered to call for an end to animal cruelty. Pictures and videos of the protest on February 22 posted on social media showed participants calling for the animal rights to be protected, and for legal measures to be taken to ensure the safety of animals. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 2/23/16

Tehran air pollution takes fatal toll on disabled students

- The head of the Tehran Board of Special Education says three disabled students in Tehran have died due to severe pollution in the city. The state television network Seda va Sima reported on Saturday January 2 that the three students were hospitalized due to respiratory complications and later passed away in hospital. - 1/4/16

Iran's 18 degree Celsius challenge to fight air pollution

- In a post on social media, Masoumeh Ebtekar, Director of Iran's Department of the Environment, called for a national movement to lower the temperature of buildings in metropolises across the country to at most to 18 degrees Celsius in corridors and indoor places and to 21 degrees in rooms. The post also featured letters addressing the vice presidents, ministers and all governors to accept the challenge. - 1/3/16

Stubborn air pollution forces emergency meeting, traffic reductions in Tehran

- With the persistence of severe air pollution in Tehran, the Department of the Environment called for an emergency meeting with the governor's office in the capital on Tuesday December 29. The committee decided to close all preschool and elementary schools tomorrow. Traffic rules that restrict which cars can be driven each day according to odd-numbered or even-numbered licence plates will be enforced on all streets rather than being limited to areas in the downtown core. - 12/31/15

Scarred Riverbeds and Dead Pistachio Trees in a Parched Iran

- POUZE KHOON, Iran - The early-morning sun meagerly brightened the gloom of this sad township, a collection of empty, crumbling houses along a highway through the dusty desert landscape in southeastern Iran. FROM OUR ADVERTISERS Until a decade or so ago, Amin Shoul would come here every year to help his father harvest pistachios, the nuts that are as much a symbol of Iran as caviar. -Thomas Erdbrink, NY Times - 12/29/15

Pollution lingers over Tehran and other major cities in Iran

- In addition to Tehran, which has been suffering under severe pollution for the past 13 days, reports indicate that Tabriz and Isfahan have also been experiencing conditions of low air quality. - 12/25/15

Daily death rate rises in Tehran due to air pollution

- The secretary of Tehran City Council says rising pollution has increased the average number of deaths in the capital to 180 people a day. Tehran's air quality has been in the red-alert zone since last week, with the volume of air pollutant particles rising seven times beyond acceptable levels. - 12/23/15

Asian Cities Choking on Worsening Air Pollution

- Heavy smog on Tuesday shrouded the capitals of the world's two most populous countries. Air quality monitoring stations in Beijing and New Delhi displayed readings far exceeding the threshold for the highest-category hazardous level. A high pollution alert also prompted Iranian authorities in Tehran, Isfahan and Arak, to close all schools for two days from Sunday. It was the first such order since 2010. -Steve Herman, VOA - 12/22/15

Air pollution forcing Tehran schools to close for two days

- The Tehran Board of Education has announced that all Tehran schools will be closed on Sunday and Monday due to air pollution. ISNA reports that the head of the Board of Education announced on Saturday December 19 that all schools in Tehran and Shahr Rey at all levels will be closed for the next two days in response to heavy pollution. - 12/20/15

Tehran air pollution so bad it's dangerous for anyone to breathe

- Tehran air quality is reported to be very dangerous, with a red alert issued due to the increased concentration of pollutants. The concentration of particulates in Tehran air is now measured at 2.5 microns, which is seven times the acceptable level according to World Health Organization standards. - 12/15/15

Aid requested for Minab townships plagued by sinkholes

- The Hormozgan Province representative has announced that 30 townships in the Minab region of the province are now surrounded by sinkholes and he called on the Ministry of Power to resolve the situation. - 12/11/15

Iran sets goals for cutting greenhouse gas emissions

- A spokesman for Iran's Department of the Environment says Iran is prepared to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 12 percent. China, the European Union, India, Russia, Japan, South Korea, Canada, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Britain, Mexico and Iran respectively top the list of greenhouse gas emitters. - 12/9/15

Asiatic cheetah extinction trend reversed

- UN resident coordinator in Iran has said cooperation between Department of Environment and the Conservation of Asiatic Cheetah Project has reversed the extinction trend among Asiatic cheetahs. Gary Lewis who was addressing the ceremony to celebrate the International Cheetah Day (December 5) on Saturday - 12/7/15

Man-made Issues Exacerbate Iran's Water Crisis

- A water crisis is looming in many dry areas of the world and Iran is no exception. As world leaders gather in Paris to negotiate a universal agreement regarding climate change, Iran is struggling with severe environmental issues that many believe were created due to manmade resource management decisions. Iran's Environmental Protection Organization said 7 million hectares of land is in danger of desertification. -Maryam Manzoori - 12/7/15

Success reported in efforts to bring back Lake Urmia

- The chief environmental official for Western Azerbaijan Province reported on Sunday December 6 that 700 square kilometers of the southern parts of Lake Urmia are now covered with water. - 12/7/15

Water levels dropped sharply in Caspian Sea over past year

- The National Centre for Studies and Research of the Caspian Sea announced on Wednesday that water levels there have fallen by 22 centimetres in the past year. The report adds that the decline over the past two years was 30 centimetres. - 12/4/15

Dwindling Persian Leopard population faces grave challenges

- The head of the Hunting and Fishing branch of the Department of the Environment reports that in the past eight years, 166 Persian Leopards have been killed in various parts of the country. Ali Teymouri told IRNA that most of these leopards have been killed in Fars, Golestan, Kerman, Zanjan, Ilam and Khorasan Province due to "road accidents or by poachers or stock herders". - 11/29/15

Rivers redirected to save Iran's biggest inland lake from vanishing

- The secretary of the task force for replenishing Lake Urmia announced that water has begun to be transfered from the Simineh and Zarineh Rivers to the rapidly vanishing lake. Issa Kalantari reported on Sunday November 22 that starting on Thursday November 19, 30 cubic metres of water are pouring into the lake every second because of this project. - 11/25/15

Growth, Energy and Climate: a View From Iran

- For the past several months most Iranians have been caught up in a "wait-and-see" collective mindset. Below the surface, in the murky shadows, movement can be detected amongst gigantic coiled up springs waiting for the starting gun. These gargantuan springs come in many shapes and forms. -Daryan Rezazad, Counterpunch - 11/19/15

New Adventure Film KARUN released 16th November Worldwide Aims to Change the Way We Think about Iran

- Two British filmmakers are hoping to reverse long-held prejudices against the Islamic Republic of Iran with a new adventure film KARUN, portraying their unusual journey through the country. Karun: Misadventures On Iran's Longest River will be released worldwide digitally via the project's website:karunfilm.com on Monday 16th November and will have its premiere at the Royal Geographical Society in London on Saturday 14th November. - 11/17/15

First Iranian-made solar car may hit streets in 5 years

- Gazelle 3, a solar-powered car built in Iran, took part in the World Solar Challenge 2015 and came in seventh in cruiser class after some of the world's most powerful teams, such as the Netherlands, Japan, and the U.S. - 11/10/15

Deer population plummets in Iran's second-largest sanctuary

- Mohammadali Amarlo, the head of the Sabzevar Department of the Environment, told Mehr News on Saturday November 7 that repeated drought, the loss of grazing fields through unregulated stock herding, and the loss of habitat due to various developments in the region are having disastrous effects on the deer population. - 11/8/15

Iran's environmental needs dwarf actual budget allotment

- The budget for Iran's Department of the Environment is no match for its expenses and its many concerns: numerous international promises, the growing water crisis, droughts, a shortage of forest rangers, protection of the Iranian cheetah and other endangered wildlife species, repeated forest fires, 200 environmental projects in the Persian Gulf, the low-carbon economy, the crisis in lagoons and wetlands, the fight against dust particles and, last but not least, the drying out of Lake Urmia. - 10/31/15

Inside the Zagros Mountains, the forgotten region of ​Iranian Kurdistan

- Set in the craggy Zagros range, separating the Islamic Republic from Iraq, Kirsten O'Regan travels to the part of the Kurdish region that manages to stay out of international headlines -Kirsten O'Regan, Guardian - 10/30/15

Study: Persian Gulf may become unlivable

- The Persian Gulf region, the center of a high-rise building craze, could experience "intolerable" levels of heat in the decades ahead because of global warming, according to a scientific finding. - 10/27/15

Iran halts dam projects in bid to protect environment

- Iran's Department of the Environment says 10 dam projects have been halted across the country. In a statement on Tuesday September 20, the spokesman for the department said while some of these projects may have already acquired permits, they will not be allowed to proceed. - 10/21/15

Iran Says It Can Quadruple Carbon Cuts If Sanctions Lifted

- Iran could as much as quadruple its efforts to curb fossil fuel emissions if economic sanctions imposed by the U.S., United Nations and European Union are ended, the country's lead envoy at UN climate negotiations said. -Alex Morales, Bloomberg - 10/21/15

Fears intensify for waning Anzali Lagoon in Gilan province of Iran

- The governor of Gilan says the Anzali Lagoon is in serious danger of drying out, with its depth having decreased from 11 metres to 1.5 metres. In the administrative council meeting on Wednesday October 14, Mohammad Ali Najafi said the lagoon is in imminent danger of extinction and needs immediate and special attention from the authorities. - 10/16/15

Iran's widespread water crisis fuels rural depopulation

- The Governor of Tabas says many residents of rural areas in Southern Khorasan are migrating due to the "rapid fall in the level of underground waters" in the region. ILNA reports that at a meeting of the Council of Water Resource Protection, the Tabas Governor stressed that Southern Khorasan is among the 16 provinces currently in a severe water crisis. - 10/7/15

Iranian designer chosen for one of a kind project: Eco Desert Retreat in UAE

- Baharash Architecture were recently tasked to design a luxury desert eco-retreat for one of Emirate's highest profile individuals. The eco retreat which is located in Liwa, in southern region of UAE, is designed to be in harmony with the pristine and untouched desert-scape. - 9/21/15

Flash Floods Kill 10 In Iran

- Iranian state TV says flash floods triggered by heavy rains have killed 10 people in the capital, Tehran, and southern regions. The report on September 19 said the flash flood killed six in Tehran and four in the southern province of Hormozgan a day earlier. - 9/19/15

Ten Iranian provinces suffering seven-year drought

- The head of drought and crisis management for the Iranian Meteorological Organization reports that 10 of the country's provinces have been grappling with seven consecutive years of drought. - 9/3/15

Cheetah Conservation Day aims to protect species in Iran

- It is now half a century since the habitat of the Asiatic Cheetah has been reduced to the Iranian plains. Outside of Africa, the Iranian plains are the only place where cheetahs can be found. The ninth annual festival of Cheetah Conservation Day is being observed, even as estimates indicate that only 40 to 70 head of cheetah are left in Iran. The festival is being held from August 27 to 28 in Tehran's Mellat Park in tandem with celebrations in 13 other provinces. - 8/28/15

Greenhouse gas emissions rising in Iran

- The head of National Air and Climate Change at Iran's Environmental Protection Agency reports that 500 million tons of greenhouse gases are produced by the country annually and in the next 10 years it is expected to reach 2 billion tons. - 8/28/15

Iranian Official: No Reports of Damage, Injury in Tehran Quake

- According to a report by Iranian Seismological Center of the Institute of Geophysics of University of Tehran, an earthquake measuring 4.6 on the Richter scale shook the city of Firouzkouh on Tuesday night, located about 110 kilometers (68 miles) northeast of the capital city. - 8/27/15

Giant whale washed up along southern Iranian coast

- The decomposing body of a 13-meter-long whale is washed up on a beach in southern Iran, with experts providing conflicting accounts on why the giant creature has died. Iranian media said Monday that the animal was spotted a few days ago on a beach near the port city of Dayyer in southwestern province of Bushehr, a first such incidence in decades in the gas-rich area. - 8/25/15

Plan to save at-risk species called a high priority by Iranian official

- Seventy-six animal species including mammals, reptiles, amphibians and fish are under threat of extinction, according to Iran's Department of the Environment. The department's director of Biodiversity and Wildlife told ISNA on Sunday August 23 that 30 of those species are now high priority and "an action plan to save them has been prepared or is under preparation". - 8/24/15

Earthquake strikes Tehran and Semnan provinces in Iran

- According to a report by Iranian Seismological Center of the Institute of Geophysics of University of Tehran, an earthquake measuring 4.1 on the Richter scale on Thursday night rattled the districts of Javad Abad, Pishva and Varamin, south of Tehran. The institute also said that the quake was followed by seven aftershocks and foreshocks - 8/15/15

Villagers must pay for killing 20 wild boar in Zanjan

- Twenty wild boar have been killed by residents of a village in Zanjan, Iran. The Zanjan Department of the Environment reports that the boar had gathered at a water hole to drink in the farming region of Ijrood when the residents attacked them with hunting weapons, clubs, stone and iron bars. - 8/13/15

Photos: Sand storms in Sistan take a toll on daily life

- All government offices and businesses were closed due to the heavy sand storms in Sistan on Sunday August 9. The Mehr News Agency reports that on Sunday August 9, heavy winds raised the concentration of airborne dust particles to over 34 times the acceptable level. Meteorological reports say winds could reach 100 km/h today. - 8/11/15

Iran's top sculptor Parviz Tanavoli to dedicate work to Zimbabwe's Cecil

- Iranian sculptor Parviz Tanavoli has announced his plans to dedicate one of his latest works in his Lion series to a lion killed in Zimbabwe in July in order to take part in the international outcry over the death of the animal. - 8/4/15

Six Iranian forest rangers freed after death sentences stayed

- The head of Iran's Department of the Environment says six of eight forest rangers who were sentenced to death have now been released. IRNA reports that on Monday August 3, Massoumeh Ebtekar said in a speech in Yasooj that efforts are still underway to secure the release of the other two rangers. - 8/4/15

Iran city hits suffocating heat index of 165 degrees, near world record

- Wherever you live or happen to travel to, never complain about the heat and humidity again. In the city of Bandar Mahshahr (population of about 110,000 as of 2010), the air felt like a searing 165 degrees (74 Celsius) today factoring in the humidity. Although there are no official records of heat indices, this is second highest level we have ever seen reported. -Jason Samenow, Washington Post - 8/1/15

Photos: Iranian Green Protesters Circle Forest During Environment Chief's Visit

- Environmental activists formed a human chain around Palang Dareh Forest on Thursday July 30 while the head of Iran's Department of the Environment, Massoumeh Ebtekar, was visiting Mazandaran Province in northern Iran to mark National Forest Day. - 7/31/15

Heavy rains flood roads in northern Iran

- Heavy torrential rains have flooded Chaloos and Haraz roads in Tehran and Alborz Provinces so far killing 35 people. Fifty vehicles are also reportedly missing in the Asara region of the two mountainous roads. Meanwhile five villages have been trapped by floods and another six were killed in Sijan from the floods. - 7/21/15

Great Salt Lake's Iranian 'twin' is drying up

- It's an inland sea of nearly 2,000 square miles with extremely salty water supporting a delicate web of life and providing natural resources for important industries. That may appear to be a description of Utah's Great Salt Lake. In fact, though, it describes a lake in Iran that is astonishingly similar to Utah's famous inland sea. The two salt lakes, on opposite sides of the world, are so nearly identical that scientists from both countries are working together to help them survive. -John Hollenhorst, KSL - 7/14/15

Plastic-Bag Free Day in Iran: Campaign promotes stopping use of plastic bags

- On July 12, which is Plastic-Bag Free Day in Iran, several organizations once again geared up to raise public awareness about the environmental problems posed by plastic bags. For a week, Tehran and several other provinces will implement a program of using biodegradable bags in stores and markets bearing the logo "less plastic, cleaner earth, better health". - 7/14/15

Insurance deal aims to protect Asiatic Cheetah in Iran

- The Asiatic Cheetah, which now can be found only in Iran, has been offered increased protection through an agreement between the United Nations Development Program and Dana Insurance. - 7/7/15

Iranian Parliament outlines extent of water crisis devastation

- Iranian Parliament announced that recent research indicates repeated droughts have led to the desertification of two-thirds of the country. The Shahrvand daily reports that the statement from Parliament also indicates a significant decline in the country's water resources in the past 20 years. - 6/30/15

Average temperatures across Iran rise by one degree centigrade

- Iran Meteorological Organization announced that nine provinces have so far registered average temperatures three degrees centigrade higher than normal in June. The report adds that the month of June was one average one degree centigrade higher all across the country. - 6/30/15

Iran: Poachers face higher fines for hunting endangered species

- The Department of the Environment has managed to push through an initiative to impose heavy fines on illegal hunting activities. The new fines are on average five times bigger than they were in the past, and some are even 10 times bigger for those caught hunting certain species. - 6/26/15

Iran to build hybrid electric cars

- Iran Khodro has signed an agreement with two local universities to produce hybrid and electric cars, with the first models expected to roll down the production line in the next three years. The Middle East's leading automaker inked a memorandum of understanding with Iran's prestigious Sharif and Amir Kabir Universities of Technology for design and production of the county's first hybrid electric cars. - 6/24/15

12th death of Iranian leopard reported in Zanjan

- Local people in Sorkhabad, Zanjan, have found the remains of an Iranian leopard partly eaten by the carnivores of the region. The remains of the leopard (Panthera pardus saxicolor) were found in Darband Kalasar by the local Department of Environment units; the animal had reportedly died 10 days ago. - 6/19/15

Fourth Persian leopard found dead

- Head of North Khorasan provincial Department of Environment office has announced the discovery of the corpse of fourth Persian leopard since the beginning of the current solar year (beginning March 2015). - 6/11/15

Dust storms in Sistan-Baluchistan province of Iran force residents inside

- Storm winds reaching up to 115 kilometres per hour have forced residents in Sistan-Baluchistan Province to stay in their homes due to high volumes of dust and particles in the air. Sixteen years of drought in the Sistan-Baluchistan region and seasonal winds that now last 180 days per year instead of 120, have aggravated the problem of dust storms in the region. - 6/10/15

Centuries-old trees in Iran's Fars province destroyed by fire

- Reports from Fars Province indicate that forest fires have destroyed 110 hectares of trees, including the 800-year-old trees of Miyanjangal. Miyanjangal is covered by 50 hectares of forest and parts of it are protected. - 6/8/15

Light Earthquake Hits Town Near Iran's Bushehr Nuclear Plant

- Authorities in Tehran say a magnitude-4.4 earthquake has jolted a sparsely populated district about 110 kilometers northwest of Bushehr, the location of Iran's only operational nuclear power plant. There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries. - 6/1/15

Iran raises penalties for hunting endangered species

- Iran's Department of the Environment reports that new changes to wildlife protection laws include significantly higher fines for hunting protected species. The head of Hunting and Fishing reports that poachers will pay 100 million toumans for hunting the Asiatic cheetah and 80 million toumans for hunting the Persian leopard. - 5/25/15

Khuzestan wetland shrinks drastically due to oil extraction

- Three-fifths of the Hour-ol-Azim wetlands have dried out due to non-standard oil extraction. Jasem Marmazi, the Khuzestan governor's advisor on environmental issues, told ISNA that the Oil Company's recent oil-extraction activities are the chief reason that the Hour-ol-Azm Wetlands are drying out. - 5/14/15
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