Wetlands: One of the Four Priorities of the Department of Environment

Iran holds Iran-Australia’s Two-day environmental workshop on water rights management

DOE—10 January, 2018—Iran held an environmental workshop on water rights management with Australia yesterday. Another workshop is taking place at the Department of Environment today. Kaveh Madani, Deputy Head of Education and Research of the Department of Environment (DOE) and Ian Biggs, Australian Ambassador to Iran attended the opening ceremony.

At the opening ceremony, Kaveh Madani, Deputy Head of Education and Research of the Department of Environment (DOE) spoke about water scarcity the importance of wetlands in Iran.  “As Iranians know, wetlands are one of the four top priorities given to the Department of Environment by President Rouhani,” he remarked. “The four priorities given to us are wetlands, sand and dust storms, waste, and air pollution. I think if we ever solve these four problems, ninety percent of Iran’s environmental problems would be solved.”

Madani continued, “We’re experiencing one of the worst droughts of Iran in the last two decades. It’s been a tough year for us so far. Things have not been good. The projections of forecasts are not good either, so we will have a tough year. Wetlands will have a hard time surviving and we will have a tough time getting water.”

He talked about the Supreme Council of Wetlands and said, “Fortunately, Dr. Bagherzadeh Karimi and his colleagues are putting a lot of effort for this. Yesterday we had a Supreme Council of Wetlands meeting at the Department of Environment.”

He said, “We’re trying to promote this idea that healthy wetlands mean healthy environmental system. It’s really hard to sell that to those who are not in full understanding with the environment—to those decision makers and officials who are fast in creating jobs and want to respond to the public.”

Madani praised the Iranian people for their knowledge of awareness of environment, and said, “Compared to the rest of the region and the neighboring countries, the level of environmental awareness in Iran and its general concerns is pretty high.”

Deputy Head of Education and Research of DOE welcomed and thanked Australian partners and expressed anticipation for more environmental cooperation with Australia. “We have some sort of sisterhood when it comes to water,” he said. “I hope we can take advantage of this. There are other countries with similar problems, but we don’t have the political relationship and trust with them. Fortunately we have the necessary connection with the Australian environmental experts and we will try to replicate their success stories and avoid their failures.”

Ian Biggs, Australian Ambassador to Iran thanked the Iranian government for their hospitality for the Australian delegation, and spoke about the issue of water scarcity. “The whole business of humanity living in settlements, population intensifying and life becoming impossible starts with the issue of water. One of the tragedies in the recent years is what is happening in parts of this region, with the shortage of water, with over exportation of natural resources by the human population.”

Biggs also spoke about the political context around Iran-Australia relationship, and said, “Australia has been represented in Iran now for fifty years. My wife has just finished a history of Iran’s relationship with the United Nations, so through her work I’ve learned all about the efforts of Iranian governments through the years to take the lead of the policy of water management.”


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