Jun 17, 2019, 1:58 PM
Journalist ID: 1006
News Code: 83357094
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Iran observes International Day to combat desertification
desertification in Iran

Tehran, June 17, IRNA – Environmental experts are concerned about the rapid growth of desertification in light of drought and negligence of the standards to protect the environment required for sustainable development.

Environmentalists believe that if in the next 25 years, with the current trend of land degradation, agriculture will reduce 12 percent of global food production. Now, if the process of population growth is to be imposed by 2050.

There is no doubt that more attention must be paid to desertification and an increase in agricultural land should be considered more seriously in order to overcome insecurity of food supplies in the world.

The tendency to progress over time has made humans an unconditional owner of the earth, and so close to the destruction that it is not supposed to be a legacy for future generations.

Desertification is one of the biggest environmental challenges. The problem that has plagued Earth in recent years, causing the destruction of vegetation and the expansion of the wilderness, threatening the lives of over 250 million people in the world.

The importance of this led to the UNCCD marking June 17 as the World Day to fight Desertification. The aim was to create a global partnership for the prevention of desertification, land degradation, drought, and environmental protection, in which Iran, by joining the convention, began its activity from 1965.

The International Combating Desertification Convention Every year, with regard to the challenges of the desert, the slogan on this occasion states that this year, the title "Let's Grow The Future Together" is set to take on the central role of cooperation and participation of all institutions, organizations, and People emphasize green land.

*** Challenges Of Combating  Desertificatin In Iran

Desertification in Iran was recognized between the 1930s and 1960s. Iran has areas vulnerable to desertification due to extensive areas of drylands and increasing population pressure on land and water resources.

Over-grazing of range lands is a particular problem. Initially, desertification was combated mainly at the local level and involved dune stabilization measures, especially the use of oil mulch, re-vegetation and windbreaks.

Insufficient technical planning in the early years has led to change approaches to plant densities and species diversity in plantations and increased on-going management of existing plantations. Since the late 1980s forage and crop production has increased in areas where runoff control techniques are practiced.

The social and economic aspects of anti-desertification programs have assisted in poverty reduction by providing off-season employment in rural areas. In 2004 a national plan to combat desertification was ratified and this placed an emphasis on community participation.

Continuing challenges include managing existing desert areas as well as taking into account potential future problems associated with rapidly depleting groundwater supplies and a predicted reduction in the plant growth period accompanying climate change.

****Iran and UNDP strengthen efforts to combat desertification

"Antonio Guterres," The Secretary-General, United Nations On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the World Day against Desertification and Drought, in a video message said: "Earth loses 24 billion tons of fertile soil annually. Desertification, land degradation and drought have become a major problem, and a large part of the earth's population suffers from this phenomenon.

"Despite the fact that the Convention on Combating Desertification and Drought has been concluded 25 years ago, much remains to be done. Developing countries lose eight percent of their gross national product due to the expansion of dry land", Antonio Guterres added.

Today, around the world, over 250 million people are directly affected by desertification.  About 1 billion people – in over 110 countries – are currently at risk of its consequences.

Here in Iran, the level of desertification is “high”,  over 20 percent of the country’s land is exposed to desertification.  Deserts threaten 18 provinces and 97 cities of the country,  and in these arid and semi-arid areas, desertification is at risk of increasing. 

However, for many years, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) has been working closely with the Government of Iran to support the sustainable development of its natural resources and through this reverse the effects of desertification.

The Director General of the Desert Affairs Bureau of the Forests, Range and Watershed Management Organization (FRWO) Farhad Sardari told IRNA that the success has prompted related experience sharing with such countries as Jordan and certain African states. 

He cited mulching, seed plantation, and forestation as measures taken by his department for controlling wind erosion. 

"One of the best strategies for combating desertification is the reforestation of forests and biological operations of vegetation. In this context, the forestry organization has identified areas of concern for the purpose of dealing with dust, which causes many problems for people's biological, economic and social resources. Smooth sand consolidation through mulching and planting", The Director General of the Desert Affairs Bureau of the Forests, Range and Watershed Management Organization (FRWO) said.

By:  Bahador Hosseini Teshnizi


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