News ID: 133271
Published: 1047 GMT December 20, 2015

Forestry project implemented in South Khorasan

Forestry project implemented in South Khorasan

By Fatemeh Shokri & Katayoon Dashti

An environmental project called 'Forestry', which was held earlier in certain provinces and yielded to desired results, is to be held nationwide to revive forests, Parviz Aramanesh, the head of South Khorasan Department of Environment, told Iran Daily.

The project will be held with the participation of the government and people, he said.

Aramanesh added that South Khorasan Province boasts 635,000 hectares of forests, of which 630,000 hectares are dense forest and 3,000 hectares are semi-lush.

The plan is to be held annually for five consecutive years, he said.

Apart from forests, this eastern province has protected zones and wildlife sanctuaries, he mentioned.

He said the province has four protected zones, three wildlife sanctuaries, and 10 no-hunting zones ― spread over two million hectares.

The DoE administers 13 percent of the land area in South Khorasan Province, he added.

He continued that the budget for the project has been made available by South Khorasan Governor-General's Office and the Department of Environment.

Some 12.7 billion rials ($423,333) was allocated to the province during the tenure of current administration which was spent on reducing the negative impacts of drought including damages to local wildlife and pastures.

He listed construction of water reservoir, and watering place and procuring fodder for wildlife species as measures taken in this regard.

Naibandan Wildlife Sanctuary, spread over 1.5 million hectares, is considered as one of the important natural sanctuaries of the province — a refuge for rare wild feline species such as Asiatic Cheetah.

The Asiatic Cheetah exists only in few regions across the country. He said only 70 Asiatic cheetahs exist in the wild.

Kaji Wetland, he noted, is one of major wildlife habitats.

The wetland, expanding over 22,000 square meters, is located in Nehbandan, he said. In spite of drought, 5,000 migratory birds land in the wetland annually, he added.

He said 5 billion rials ($166,666) from last year’s budget was allocated for reviving the wetland.

Also, temporary camps are to be lauched for tourists, he added.

In addition, the government has earmarked funds for training and conducting research projects, he concluded.

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