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Iran commemorated World Wetland Day 2022

On 3 February 2022, the Department of Environment (DoE) of Iran organized an event in Bakhtegan wetland to mark the World Wetlands Day. The event was hosted by the DoE branch in the Fars Province.  UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office joined the event to highlight the importance of raising awareness about the vital role of wetlands for people and planet.

As the keynote speaker of the ceremony, H.E. Mr Ali Salajegheh, the Head of Department of Environment of Iran, pointed out the importance of integrated watershed management instead of considering a wetland as an isolated ecosystem. He emphasized that: “Wetlands are the last point of a watershed. The condition of the wetlands mirrors the situation in the whole basin and by looking at a wetland, information about the watershed can be obtained. The healthier the wetland, the healthier the watershed”. He further continued by stressing that most of the wetlands in the country are not in a favorable condition.

The next speaker, Mr Eskandar Masoumi, the Governor of Bakhtegan, underscored that drying of Bakhtegan wetland threatens the life and livelihood of local people.

Ms Mehrasa Mehrdadi, the representative of the UNESCO Tehran Clusters Office, visited the exhibition organized by the NGOs and communities living on the margin of the wetlands and stressed that one of UNESCO’s priority programmes is supporting youth and women to engage in the conservation of natural resources, specially within the UNESCO designated sites, as key actors to improve living in harmony with the nature.

The celebration concluded by honoring the environmentalists, activists and students who were making efforts as “Wetland Heros” to protect wetlands across the country. The “Wetland Hero” award in public participation was presented to the young team of “Kazerun Heritage Association”.