International round table on Iran's wetlands

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An international technical round table with participation of foreign and Iranian experts was held in Tehran from 16 to 18 March 2014 in order to find a solution for Iran’s drying wetlands with focus on Lake Uromiyeh and the Hamoun wetlands.

During the round table, jointly organized by Iran’s Department of Environment (DoE) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), participants reviewed the causes of the declining status of the two wetlands and the actions undertaken to address them. They also shared experiences and international best practices for the restoration of drying wetlands. Finally, they developed recommendations for the government – taking into account policy, logistical, institutional and budgetary limitations.

Lake Urmia, Iran


At the closing ceremony, the initial conclusions were presented to Dr Ebtekar, Vice-President and Head of DoE, Mr Gary Lewis, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative, as well as Dr Kalantari, Chairperson of the Lake Urmia Restoration Committee.

The presentations and discussion papers delivered during the round table are now available on the UNDP website at: http://www.ir.undp.org/content/iran/en/home/presscenter/articles/2014/04/21/experts-search-for-answers-to-help-save-iran-s-drying-wetlands/

The final report, including conclusions and recommendations, was launched at a special event jointly organized by Iran’s Department of Environment and UNDP on 5 May 2014.

Report and photo by Lew Young, Senior Regional Advisor for Asia-Oceania

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