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United Nations Iran
سازمان ملل متحد در ایران
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16 May 2016 - Iran launches its first National Strategic Plan to step up the battle against climate change

Iran launched a national strategic plan today aimed at helping the country to adapt and mitigate to risks from climate change.

The plan, developed in line with the Kyoto Protocol on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and the Paris Agreement to combat Climate Change, will guide how Iran moves forward on sustainable socio-economic development.

“The launch of this national strategic plan reflects Iran’s strong political will in achieving sustainable development,” said Dr. Masoumeh Ebtekar, Vice-President and Head of Iran’s Department of the Environment.

Dr. Masoumeh Ebtekar, Vice President and Head of the Department of EnvironmentDr. Masoumeh Ebtekar, Vice President and Head of the Department of Environment

“This plan is the result of the collective work between people, the United Nations, universities and the media” she added. 

Across the nation, Iran faces multiple environmental challenges such as shortage of water, land degradation, desertification, and loss of biodiversity. In some areas, the shortage of water has been so acute it has forced people to migrate. In other regions desertification has affected livelihoods and has caused severe sand and dust storms affecting wide swathes of the country.

The impact of climate change is not only being felt in Iran but across the world, and the overwhelming weight of scientific evidence points to human influence as the cause.

In his speech at the event, Gary Lewis, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative, said that for every man-made problem lies a man-made solution.

“We see from the long sweep of human history, that problems gets solved if we do two things.  The first is to know, the second is to act on the basis of the evidence that we know. That is what I see happening here today,” said Mr. Lewis. “By launching this plan Iran now becomes one of a very small number of countries that is acting in this evidence-based way.  The UN – and specifically UNDP – is extremely proud to be involved with Iran in this journey to both mitigate and adapt to climate change.”: https://goo.gl/VFdghl

Mr. Gary Lewis, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative (left), Dr. Ali Nazaridoust, Head of Programme  and Assistant Resident Representative (right) Mr. Gary Lewis, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative (left), Dr. Ali Nazaridoust, Head of Programme and Assistant Resident Representative (right)

Also speaking at the event was Dr. Saeed Motessadi, Deputy Head of the Department of Environment who stated: “Iran ranks among the top 10 countries in the production of greenhouse gases.  We should not be waiting for disaster to strike, we should plan ahead and the national strategic plan will guide the country towards the right path to overcome these challenges.” 

The event took place at the Department of Environment in the presence of government officials, members of Iran’s academia and the media.

 

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3 February 2017 - “64% of the world’s wetlands have disappeared in the last century” – Ramsar Convention

“64% of the world’s wetlands have disappeared in the last century.  Every year we lose 1% of those left.  Wetlands are being destroyed or degraded faster than any other ecosystems” according to the Ramsar Convention. 

World Wetlands day is celebrated every year on 2nd February.  This day marks the adoption of the Convention on Wetlands which took place in February of 1971 in the city of Ramsar in Iran.  Wetlands are essential for human health and prosperity.  They provide us with fresh water, ensure our food supply, sustain biodiversity, protect against flooding, and store carbon dioxide.  As a major source of employment globally, they are also ideally placed to showcase truly sustainable livelihoods.

This year, in Iran, the day was celebrated in Ahvaz – located in southwest of Iran in the presence of the Vice-President and Head of Iran’s Department of Environment, Dr. Masoumeh Ebtekar, local authorities, members of the diplomatic corps, the media and the UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative, Mr. Gary Lewis. 

Speaking at the event, Mr. Lewis said: “Every year we are losing 1% of the world wetlands due to various reasons.  One of the problems which arises as a result of the drying of the wetlands is a phenomena referred to as sand and dust storms.”

Mr. Lewis added: “In the past 18 months, the Government of Iran has taken steps to raise global awareness on Iran’s sand and dust storms problem and we hope that the neighboring countries take this issue seriously and come up with solutions to overcome this challenge.”

Mr. Gary Lewis (left) and Mr. Mohsen Soleimani (right) addressing the audience Mr. Gary Lewis (left) and Mr. Mohsen Soleimani (right) addressing the audience

Ms. Lewis made reference to the agricultural sector and said with new water techniques and involvement of the local communities in water management decisions we can overcome some of Iran’s environmental challenges. 

He concluded by saying: “We should raise awareness in our society and start the environmental educations from early ages.” 

Dr. Ebtekar also spoke at the ceremony and said: “People depend on wetlands for their livelihoods.  Wetlands play an important role in economy and sustainable development.  That is why we should conserve them.”

“According to global statistics, wetlands are worth 200 times more than agricultural lands.  And they can provide a lot of services for the region in which they are situated” said Dr. Ebtekar.

Dr. Massoumeh Ebtekar addressing the audience Dr. Massoumeh Ebtekar addressing the audience

She concluded her remarks by saying that overcoming and preserving the environment is a top priority of President Rouhani’s administration and that different entities are working together to address the environmental challenges of Iran. 

The attendees then visited Shadegan Wetlands inaugurated the “Shadegan Wetlands Touristic Centre” in which the locally produced goods are available for sale.  

Attendees at World Wetlands Day ceremony in AhvazAttendees at World Wetlands Day ceremony in Ahvaz

 

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13 January 2017 - Call for entries: Through young eyes - photo competition for UN World Wildlife Day 2017

Source: CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) 

Geneva,  14 January 2017 – The United Nations World Wildlife Day 2017 (WWD2017) will be celebrated on 3 March under the theme “Listen to the young voices”. The CITES Secretariat, as the facilitator for the global celebration of the Day, launched today a photo competition for the youth around the world titled “Through young eyes”.

CITES Secretary-General, John E. Scanlon, said: “World Wildlife Day 2017 is a day when we actively engage with the world’s youth in how to better protect the world’s wildlife.  It provides an opportunity for the youth to express themselves and to take actions to support wildlife conservation. The photo competition is one way for the youth to show their passion for wildlife.”

Background

Habitat loss, climate change and poaching are among the most alarming challenges faced by wildlife today. Poaching and trafficking of wildlife is now the most immediate threat to many species, whether charismatic or less known.  The fate of the world’s wildlife will soon be in the hands of the next generation.  The pressing need for enhanced action to ensure the survival of wildlife in its natural habitats must be imparted from generation to generation, and the youth should have the opportunity to communicate the conservation goals to a wider society.

WWD2017 will focus on motivating, engaging and empowering the youth in wildlife conservation issues, responding to a call to better engage with youth  from the 17th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES (CoP17). The photo competition is aimed to raise awareness of wildlife conservation, including the challenges facing many of the world’s endangered species, and to inspire the youth across the globe to add their visions and to use their artistic talents to galvanize other youth and citizens around the world.

What to enter

WWD2017 will be a day to celebrate the many beautiful and varied forms of wild animals and plants, to raise awareness of the multitude of benefits that wildlife provides to people, and raise awareness of the urgent need to step up the fight against wildlife crime, in particular, the role of the youth in this cause. We would like to see expression of all of these through your eyes!

You can either show us the beautiful features of wildlife using your artistic skill or to depict how the youth is actively engaged in the conservation of these amazing species that people are sharing the ecosystem with.

The following submissions will be considered ineligible:

  • Photographs of pets or domestic animals.
  • Photos that violate or infringe upon another person's rights, including but not limited to copyright.

How to enter

All photos must be submitted through the photo submission page on the website of the World Wildlife Day at the URL below:

http://wildlifeday.org/content/submit-your-photo

Entry period

Competition begins: 14 January 2017

Contest Ends: 13 February 2017

Who can enter

Anyone aged between 10 and 24, which is the age range defined by the United Nations as “youth”,  can participate in this competition. Those below the age of 13 will need to have their parents’ permission, and will need to have parents (or a legal guardian) help with their submissions.

Sponsor and prize

The competition is supported by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

One grand prize winner will be provided free air ticket to travel to New York as well as two-day accommodation in New York to attend a high level event at the United Nations Headquarters on 3 March to celebrate WWD2017. 

Judging

Photos will be judged on originality, technical excellence, composition, overall impact, artistic merit and subject matter relevance to wildlife and/or the role of the youth in wildlife protection. Judging will be conducted by a panel composed of representatives from national governments, UN agencies, the civil society and the youth. The Panel will evaluate all valid entries and select 10 finalists and 1 grand prize winner.

All judging decisions are final. Please do not contact us about the status of entries or judging.

The organizer will notify the finalists and winner via the contact information provided at the time of entry.

Specifications

As all photos must be fully original, no entries will be accepted or considered if they are deemed to use in whole or part derivative images which could be considered plagiaristic.

Photos that have been digitally altered beyond standard optimization (removal of dust, cropping, reasonable adjustments to exposure, color and contrast, etc.) will be disqualified.

Entries may originate in any format — including, but not limited to digital files, digital prints, color transparencies, color prints, or black and white prints — so long as they are submitted electronically in a .jpeg, .jpg, or.png format. Multiple exposures that have been combined to produce a single "High Dynamic Range" image are acceptable.

Once selected, the winning designer must be able to work with the organizer to adapt the winning design into various formats for the promotion and use the photo.

The maximum size of the file to be uploaded should be no more than 2 megabites at the time of entry. Higher resolutions files will be requested should an entry be selected as a finalist.

If you choose to include people in your submission, you are responsible for obtaining the necessary releases from the individuals depicted.

Legal note

Competition entrants will retain the rights of the photograph. However, by entering the competition, you grant the CITES Secretariat and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service a royalty-free, world-wide, perpetual, non-exclusive license to publicly display, distribute, reproduce and create derivative works of the entries, in whole or in part, in any media now existing or later developed. Any photograph reproduced will include a photographer credit as feasible.

Contacts

For queries from the media,  please contact:

Liu Yuan of the CITES Secretariat at +41 22 917 8130 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For technical questions concerning the photo competition, please contact Amy Reid at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

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15/11/2016 - UNDP and UN Environment to hold a joint event on Dust and Sand Storms at COP22 in Marrakech

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) jointly with the United Nations Environment will hold a side-event on the “Sand and Dust Storms” at COP22 in Marrakech today, 15th of November from 11:00 – 12:00 at UNDP Pavilion – Blue Zone.

Speakers at this event include:

  • Vice President of the Islamic Republic of Iran and Head of Department of Environment, Dr. Masoumeh Ebtekar,
  • UNDP Administrator, Ms. Helen Clark, and
  • Head of United Nations Environment, Mr. Erik Solheim will speak.

Climate change will become an increasingly important future driver of wind erosion and Sand and Dust Storms risk.  It has been recognized that climate change and environmental degradation go beyond boundaries.  Neither can be addressed effectively through national-level interventions alone, thus there is a need for international cooperation to overcome this worldwide environmental challenge. 

For more updates and news about this event please check our website www.un.org.ir and social media accounts. 

 

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16 November 2016 - Summary report on UNDP and UN Environment Sand and Dust Storm side event at COP22

Source: IISD Reporting Service 

Gary Lewis, UN Resident Coordinator, Iran, moderated the event. He described the drivers of sand and dust storms (SDS) as the “perfect storm” combining anthropogenic causes, such as land and water management, and those induced by climate change, such as hotter and drier weather. He underscored the economic, health and environmental impacts of SDS. Lewis noted a growing international consensus on SDS in 2016, including General Assembly Resolution 70/195, UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) Resolution 72/7 and UN Environment Assembly (UNEA) Resolution 2/21.

Masoumeh Ebtekar, Vice-President and Head of Department of Environment, Iran, stressed a growth in the number and intensity of SDS. She explained the differences between sand storms and dust storms, noting health effects, including respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, meningitis and eye infections. Ebtekar identified 10 hot spots where SDS originate and emphasized that each province in Iran has a local action plan to address SDS hot spots. Noting the transboundary nature of SDS, she stressed the need for international-level environmental impact assessment of projects affecting water availability in the region. She emphasized SDS are a peace and security issue. 

Helen Clark, UNDP Administrator, said the economic impact of dust storms is at least US$13 billion yearly in lost GDP. She highlighted the Global Assessment of Sand and Dust Storms by UN Environment, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), noting it calls for increased cooperation on: early warning systems; mitigation of the worst effects; preventive measures; and research on SDS impacts on climate, oceans and other systems. 

Erik Solheim, Head of UN Environment described SDS as a huge human, economic, health and environmental issue. He included SDS in air pollution, noting that the WMO estimates 7 million people worldwide die prematurely every year due to air pollution. Noting past success addressing environmental problems such as ozone depletion and acid rain, he said SDS can be addressed, but require coordinated political action in the region. He underscored planting trees and building codes as key to address SDS. 

In the ensuing discussion, a participant noted the role of Turkey’s dams in regulating water supply to its neighbors. Participants also discussed, inter alia, international sources of climate finance to address SDS and the role of UN agencies in addressing SDS.

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14 November 2016 - Announcement: UNDP and UN Environment to hold a joint event on Dust and Sand Storms at COP22 in Marrakech

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) jointly with the United Nations Environment will hold a side-event on the “Sand and Dust Storms” at COP22 in Marrakech on 15th November from 11:00 – 12:00 at UNDP Pavilion – Blue Zone.

Speakers at this event include:

  • Vice President of the Islamic Republic of Iran and Head of Department of Environment, Dr. Masoumeh Ebtekar,
  • UNDP Administrator, Ms. Helen Clark, and
  • Head of United Nations Environment, Mr. Erik Solheim will speak.

Climate change will become an increasingly important future driver of wind erosion and Sand and Dust Storms risk.  It has been recognized that climate change and environmental degradation go beyond boundaries.  Neither can be addressed effectively through national-level interventions alone, thus there is a need for international cooperation to overcome this worldwide environmental challenge. 

For more updates and news about this event please check our website and social media accounts. 

 

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