United Nations Iran
سازمان ملل متحد در ایران
Nakouzi acknowledged the FAO’s voluntary guidelines to be a primarily tool for land-use policy makers, planners and managers in fire management, including states, the private sector and non-governmental organization. He underscored that the guidelines for fire management have covered both the positive as well as negative social, cultural, environmental and economic impacts of natural and planned fires in forests, woodlands, rangelands, grasslands, agricultural and rural/urban landscapes.
According to the FAO Representative to Iran the Organization’s fire management framework approach comprises such measures as early warning, prevention, preparedness (at the international, national, sub-national and community levels), safe and effective initial “attack” on incidences of fire and landscape restoration following it.
The four-day roundtable and training course that has been organized and by the Forest, Rangeland and Watershed Management Organization (FRWO) in collaboration with the Representation of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in the Islamic Republic of Iran, is engaging representatives from the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), Global Wildland Fire Network (GWFN), Regional Central Asia Fire Management Resource Centre (RCAFMRC), and the Regional Fire Monitoring Centre (RFMC).
The roundtable constitutes on of the events being organized within the country as part of the First International Fire Management Week which is further underpinned by the voluntary framework of the International Wildfire Preparedness Mechanisms (IWPM). The IWPM offers capacity-building and cross-boundary cooperation in fire management through exchange of expertise and application of voluntary standards in fire management.
Signing Ceremony of the Exchange of Notes between FAO and the Government of Japan
on the “Integrated Programme for Sustainable Water Resources Management in the Lake Urmia Basin”
Statement by Mr Serge Nakouzi
FAO Representative to the Islamic Republic of Iran
and to the Economic Cooperation Organization
Tehran, 9 March 2016
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It gives me great pleasure to be present this morning at the Embassy of Japan here in Tehran for the signing of the Exchange of Notes between Japan and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in support of the “Integrated Programme for Sustainable Water Resources Management in the Lake Urmia Basin”.
For several decades, Japan has been amongst FAO’s foremost partners in sustainable development programmes aimed at securing a world free from hunger and caring for the earth. Japan’s support has been unwavering to the advancement of FAO’s work across the globe, both as one of the major contributors to the Organization’s regular programme and extra-budgetary funds as well as a source of valuable expertise in, amongst other fields, sustainable agriculture, fisheries, forestry, water resources management, adaptation to climate change and the conservation of biodiversity. The Government of Japan’s commitment and engagement in the Organization’s activities addressing the complex challenges of food security and the safeguarding and sustainable management of environmental natural resources and ecosystems, has not only been instrumental but it has also reflected the profound values Japan retains in pursuing an active role to assist nations in protecting the earth’s environment and their respective natural resources.
Today’s event is quite auspicious. It ushers the beginning of a strengthened partnership between Japan, FAO and the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran in addressing some of these pressing challenges that are presently facing the historic lands of Iran. It marks a concrete step in transforming the existing and longstanding global cooperation between FAO and the Government of Japan on environment protection and sustainable development to a tangible framework of engagement here at the country level in support of Iran and to assist the country in rehabilitating one of the most symbolic natural landmarks - Lake Urmia.
Through its generous contribution, Japan will enable FAO to lend its technical expertise, as a multidisciplinary specialized international technical agency, to partner with the Lake Urmia Restoration Programme and national stakeholders on an integrated and comprehensive programme for the rehabilitation of the lake basin.
This lake basin has an enormous environmental value and harbours a most unique ecosystem biodiversity and services. It was in view of this that it was registered in 1977 as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Site and was designated as a National Park by the Government of Islamic Republic of Iran. The significance of the lake basin is also in the livelihood of local communities, the over 5 million people that inhabit the area, the contribution that they make to both the local and national economy.
Given the degradation to which the lands surrounding the basin and the lake itself have succumbed to over the past several years and which have rendered the situation quite critical, the launching of the “Integrated Programme” to be funded by Japan is quite timely.
In the light of the findings of the rapid assessment conducted by FAO experts in February 2015, the “integrated programme for Sustainable Water Resources Management in the Lake Urmia Basin” will apply methodologically comprehensive, empirically sound and socio-economically viable measures that are founded on a participatory approach of local communities.
We are of the firm conviction that to redress the predicament faced in the management of the natural resources of the Urmia Lake area, a more holistic approach would be needed, guided by the requisite technical expertise that define a sustainable solution deriving from a comprehensive intervention on the different dimensions of the this problem.
FAO for its part will lend its broad and extensive technical expertise in assessing water supply management, quantifying the related demand advising on the management and optimization of the allocation of water resources. The Organization retains a unique comparative advantage in addressing issues pertaining to the sustainable management of water resources, particularly in this region where the water resources of countries are predominantly used in agriculture.
Together with the Urmia Lake Restoration Programme and national stakeholders, we shall strive within the framework of the four-year integrated programme lifecycle to implement a series of immediate measures needed to address the primary causes of water depletion in the lake itself and in its surrounding basin. The activities under this project will commence in April 2016 and will create a unique platform for stakeholder collaboration toward more precise water accounting, enhanced agriculture productivity, more sustainable livelihoods, drought monitoring and warning and capacity building. Special emphasis will be given to the inclusion of valuable alternative income-generation scenarios and employment options, cropping system revisions, and value chain improvement for farmers, rural population, and other socio-economic entities, to achieve pre-determine target of water consumption reduction.
Whilst reiterating our gratitude to the Government of Japan, Ambassador Kobayashi and his team here at the Embassy of Japan, for all their support in making this possible, FAO looks forward to forging a fruitful collaboration with Japan, the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Urmia Lake Restoration Programme and national stakeholders to strive towards making tangible strides in rehabilitating the Lake Urmia basin, endowing healthier ecosystems and supporting the welfare of the local communities, to secure a brighter future for the basin.
STATEMENT AT THE NATIONAL
TREE PLANTING CEREMONY
7 March 2016
UN Resident Coordinator a.i.
Dr Qalibaf, Mayor of Tehran,
Ladies and gentlemen,
It gives immense pleasure to be here this morning to extend, on behalf of the United Nations family in the Islamic Republic of Iran, which is well-represented by my esteemed colleagues present at this event, our profound recognition and appreciation to the Municipality of Tehran for having organized this tree planting ceremony.
In participating in the symbolic ritual of bestowing trees back to nature, we are afforded an occasion to reflect upon the significance of the role of trees and forests in our lives, in promoting sustainable development and, by doing so, in safeguarding the future of the planet upon which we live for the generations to come.
The impacts of the world population growth, urbanization, consumption patterns and climate change are manifest in the widespread degradation of land and natural resources and also in ever-increasing poverty. Trees can help solve these problems because of their ability to restore degraded ecosystems, produce food and medicine, and provide environmental and economic benefits.
Trees and Forests have a significant role in reducing the risk of natural disasters, including floods, droughts, landslides and other extreme events. At global level, forests mitigate climate change through carbon sequestration, contribute to the balance of oxygen, carbon dioxide and humidity in the air and protect watersheds, which supply 75% of freshwater worldwide.
Investing in forests and forestry represent an investment in people and their livelihoods, especially the rural poor, youth and women. Around 1.6 billion people - including more than 2,000 indigenous cultures - depend on forests for their livelihood.
Forests are the most biologically-diverse ecosystems on land, home to more than 80% of the terrestrial species of animals, plants and insects. They also provide shelter, jobs and security for forest-dependent communities.
Trees outside forests (TOFs) will have an increasing role in reducing degradation and poverty and will assist in sustainable development.
Experts estimate that some 200 million hectares of new trees must be planted during the next ten years if developing countries are to meet their people's needs for tree products. Much of the work must be done by the rural people themselves. Social forestry which involves the local people in growing trees for their own use, is a critical factor in the lives of most rural people today.
To address these challenges, we have to strive to ensure the successful implementation of sustainable programmes for the development of communities, trees and the environment in which people live.
Therefore, the future of forests and forestry in sustainable development at all levels was at the core of the XIV World Forestry, hosted in Durban from 7 to 11 September 2015. The Durban Declaration called for new partnerships among forest, agriculture, finance, energy, water and other sectors, as well the engagement with indigenous people and local community.
The importance of investing in world’s forests and of taking “political commitment at the highest levels, smart policies, effective law enforcement, innovative partnerships and funding” was also recalled by the UN Secretary-General Mr Ban Ki-moon in his Message on the occasion of the 2015 International Day of Forests.
In light of these reasons, and more, saving trees and forests are an integral part of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals which came in to effect 1st of January 2016. Sustainable Development Goal 15 aims to “protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss”.
This global goal will assist UN member states, including Iran, in guiding decisions regarding this invaluable natural resource over the next fifteen years and to retain our focus on the environment and the need to think and act “green”.
This tree planting ceremony portrays the effort and the commitment of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran in recognizing the need to be green and in safeguarding the country’s biodiversity as well as the natural resources of its environment.
The timing of this event – in my opinion – could not have been more perfect. I am referring to Nowruz being just around the corner.
Celebrating Nowruz means the affirmation of life in harmony with nature, awareness of the inseparable link between constructive labour and natural cycles of renewal and a solicitous and respectful attitude towards natural sources of life.
I would like to thank once again the organizers and also wish to take this opportunity to wish each and every one of you – on behalf of the United Nations – joy, peace, prosperity, friendship and harmony with nature.
Har roozetan Nowruz – Nowruzetan Pirooz! Thank you.