Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) called for further actions to save Oaks and Boxwood trees in Zagros and Caspian forests of the country at the final workshop for a technical cooperative project that aimed at assisting the forestry sector in Iran.
During the final workshop of the project entitle “Assistance to Strengthening the Resilience of Zagros Forests to Oak Decline and Caspian Forests to Boxwood Blight and Development of National Forest Monitoring System in the Islamic Republic of Iran” held on Wednesday 10 January 2018, in Chalus, Mazandaran Province of Iran, in his opening remarks, AbdelHamied Hamid, Senior Forestry Officer from the FAO Regional Office for the Near East and North Africa (FAORNE) underscored that lessons learned from this project would be used for the upcoming project in a bigger scale.
“During implementation of this project we have developed 15 reports and guidelines that are critical for ensuring the sustainability of our achievements in the country” said Mr. Hamid.
According to a press release published by the FAO Representation in Iran, Dr. Shiroma Sathyapala, the FAO’s Forestry Officer, who has been engaged with the project since its inception also highlighted the fact that having “Emergency Response System” in Forestry sector in every country including the Islamic Republic of Iran is an “absolute need”.
The FAO project that implemented from 2015 to 2017 aimed at supporting the country’s effort to establish a sustainable forest management that increases the resilience and strengthen the capacity of the Zagros forest to overcome natural shocks resulting from repeated drought and Caspian forest to overcome the biotic stresses caused by boxwood blight disease.
FAO also developed a UTF (Unilateral Trust Fund) project to address the most urgent issues related to the Zagros oak forests including governance of the forest sector, knowledge and information, resources management, forest health and community empowerment. The project which is under consideration by the government of Iran, will foster stronger coordination among the stakeholders involved in the management of the Zagros forests and will enhance inter-sectoral dialogue on strategic issues.
The project will lead to long term positive impact on the forest sector and its role in the country’s socio-economic development through measures and actions on forest policy and legislation, forest monitoring, assessment and management and communication. Specifically, it will address the manifestation of the blight in Ilam and Fars Provinces through a series of field measures and actions in a comprehensive field programme. The project will be implemented by FAO with the support of one national and two provincial steering committees which will be established in FRWO, Ilam and Fars provinces to oversee the project implementation.
The project outcome is to integrate forests more effectively into the country’s sustainable development through strengthened governance of the forest sector and improved resources management with special attention to the Zagros forests affected by the blight of a large number of trees.
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