May 1, 2019, 4:24 PM
News Code: 83299447
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Iran, Turkey to establish joint environmental committee

Tehran, May 1, IRNA - The joint environmental committee between Iran and Turkey will be set up to consider the environmental issues of the two countries, including the Turkish border wall, from the environmental point of view.

In 2017, Turkey started construction of a wall on the border between Iran and Turkey; in the west of Azarbaijan, with two countries sharing borders of about 500 kilometers. Although the wall was created for security purposes in order to control the commute in the area, the wall has now created numerous environmental issues for both sides, and environmentalists from Iran and Turkey want to resolve these problems.

Deputy Minister of the Environment and Urban Development of Turkey Fatima Varank who recently traveled to Iran, in talks with Vice President and the head of the Iran’s Department of Environment, Isa Kalantari conferred on this border wall.

Iranian Department of Environment official Masoud Baqerzadeh Karimi underlined on Wednesday that the joint environmental committee between the two countries was proposed in the meeting to address the issue of the border wall.

Referring to the history of the construction of the Turkish border, the Iranian official explained that Turkey has been building the wall, due to its domestic policies to increase the security of its borders since 2017.

'Of course, the wall is not entirely on the border between Iran and Turkey, but about 200 meters inside Turkey, the purpose of which is not to determine the border, but to control the commute and has more security dimension,' Director of the wetland ecosystem.”

Karimi stated that in the area which includes most of the West Azerbaijan, Iran has about 500 km of common water and land border with Turkey, and there is a large river and small wetlands that can affect the ecosystems of the region ecologically and environmentally.

The official highlighted that 'So far, one third of the wall has been constructed in joint frontier, but the wall is supposed to be erected along the entire border, and in the meeting of the joint border commission of the two countries of Iran and Turkey in Ankara, which is more than 100 years old, we raised the subject of the border wall to discuss the environmental issues.”

Pointing to a meeting between Varank and head of the Iran’s Department of Environment, Isa Kalantari and also another meeting with Hamid Zohrabi, deputy minister for Natural Environmental Karimi noted, 'We presented a report on the environmental issues of the border wall that was welcomed. The Turkish side, with the promise that they would pay attention to the Iranian side’s considerations, announced that the wall was built as a partition and therefore can be moved, and if there is not a security issue in the future, it can be moved.”

The head of the Iran’s Department of Environment and the Deputy Minister of Environment and Urban Development of Turkey on their meeting on April 25 emphasized cooperation between the two countries on various environmental issues, including waste management.

'We have seen good progress in the environmental sector, especially in cities like Ankara and Istanbul,' said the head of the Iran’s Department of Environment Isa Kalantari, while reiterating that two friendly and neighboring countries of Iran and Turkey have had age-old ties.

Referring to Turkey's success in waste management, the Iranian official noted that Iran is ready to use Turkey's technical expertise in the field of waste.

Kalantari pointed to the dust situation in Iran, highlighting that 'In the last few years, in the first half of the Iranian year (starting in March 21) , we witness dust from neighboring countries, including Iraq and Syria to the country, and it is imperative that in the specialized bilateral and multilateral meetings, this issue to be reviewed and addressed.

The head of Iran’s Department of Environment referred to some of the environmental problems of the Turkish border wall and said, 'Despite the common security interests of both countries, the wall has not paid much attention to its environmental issues, such as wildlife, ecosystem conservation. Experts should attend and exchange information more with each other.'

'We do not have any political consideration, the environment is our priority, and the Iranian president emphasizes the issue of the environment,' the Iranian official stated, referring to the task of the Department of Environment.

Deputy Minister of the Environment and Urban Development of Turkey Fatima Varank, referring to the security wall between the countries, made the remark, 'There are no ethnic differences between the two countries and we need to cooperate in the environmental field.'

The Turkish official added that there were some problems with the development of this wall that were removed and that there were doors in the area of wildlife, but not enough, and large animals could not cross it.

'In the past years, every citizen of Turkey consumed 400 plastic per year, but it was reduced by 75%, because it were expensive,' she said regarding Turkey's environmental actions.

'The Turkish president is equally interested in environmental issues, and has ordered the planting of millions of trees in Turkey,' Varank said.

As for waste and energy production in Turkey, the Turkish official went on to say, 'By 2023, all waste will be segregated and the possibility of energy production will be provided.'

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