Study visit by Pakistani delegation to Lake Parishan and Uromia Satellite Wetlands, I.R of Iran (25-29 April 2011)


Based on the request of the Pakistan Wetlands Programme and WWF Pakistan, the Ramsar Regional Center for Central and West Asia (RRC-CWA) in cooperation with UNDP/ GEF Conservation of Iranian Wetlands Project (CIWP) organized a study tour to Parishan Lake Ramsar Site and Urmia Lake Ramsar Site in Iran for a group of eight high ranking government officials and representatives from Pakistan. The group was lead by Mr. Abdul Maunaf Qaimkhani, the Deputy Inspector General of Forests, Ministry of Environment.

The objectives of the study tour were:

  • To develop understanding of wetlands issues and their management in Iran
  • To learn from experiences of Iran's Stakeholders involved in wetlands management
  • To visit Ramsar sites managed under the UNDP/ GEF Conservation of Iranian Wetlands Project (CIWP)
  • To experience sharing amongst the Pakistani Delegation and Iranian Stakeholders
  • To develop collaboration with the Ramsar Regional Center for future trans-boundary initiatives

The Conservation of Iranian Wetlands Project (CIWP) began implementation in April 2006, and the project is due to end in 2012. The project seeks to address the root causes of the damage to Iran’s wetlands by applying the Convention on Biological Diversity’s Ecosystem Approach at three levels (local, basin and national levels). Work at the local and basin levels is being undertaken at two demonstration sites, Lake Urmia and Lake Parishan, and will be extended in the latter years of the project to a small number of replication sites. For more information on this project please visit:

Pakistan Wetlands Programme realized that an exposure visit to Ramsar Sites in Iran can be a good example and model for the government managers and officials in Pakistan to share information and experiences about ecosystem approach for wetland management. This was an effective way to present to government managers and officials in Pakistan about the best ways for management of the wetland and approaches to involve stakeholders in wetland management plan development and implementation.

This was also an opportunity to share experiences and practices between Pakistani Delegation and Iranian Stakeholders. This study tour was organized by Ramsar Regional Center for Central and West Asia and supported by the CIWP.

The study tour was for 5 days. The programme included indoor trainings by the CIWP experts and consultant and full day field visits to see the achievements of the CIWP project including activities on implementing ecosystem approach for wetland management; local management committees for Parishan and Urmia Lake on activities of the local committee for management of the lakes; pilot sustainable farming sites and a meeting with women's facilitators group; NGO and community participation in management of wetlands and constructed pools for conservation and rehabilitation of biodiversity species in Lake Parishan.

One of the important outputs of this visit was the opportunity for RRC-CWA, WWF Pakistan and Pakistan Wetlands Programme to develop collaboration for future regional initiatives. RRC had discussions to organize and conduct some regional workshops in collaboration with WWF Pakistan and also to organize a similar study tour for Iranians to visit Pakistan wetlands; this can also be done at the regional level.

The RRC-CWA delivers its sincere appreciation to the staff of Department of Environment (DoE) and the local community for their wonderful organization, cooperation and very kind hospitality.

Report by Azin Fazeli, RRC-CWA Communication Officer and photographs from Peyman Ashoori, DoE

Photo captions:

  1. Group photo with the governor of Kazeroon city
  2. Visit to sustainable farming sites in Ghale Narenji village
  3. Meeting local community at Dorgesangi, Urmia Satellite Wetland
  4. Local community at Dorgesangi

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