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9 May 2016 - First National Conference on Urban Rivers Restoration takes place in Iran

TheRegional Center on Urban Water Management under the Auspices of UNESCO (RCUWM)organized the First National Conference on Urban Rivers Restoration on 9 May 2016.
The Conference brought together some 600 participants representing a wide variety of stakeholders, including Tehran Municipality, the Ministry of Energy, Iran Water Resources Management Company, NGOs, the private sector, and several foreign guests from Japan, Korea and Germany.
The participants exchanged best practices and lessons learned, and discussed the technical, legal, institutional and socio-economic dimensions of urban river restoration.
Dr. Chavoshian, Director of RCUWM, opened the conference by delivering a report of the Conference secretariat, followed by several keynote speakers.
Dr. Ghalibaf, Mayor of Tehran, talked about some of the challenges that the city faces and the difficulties around urban river restoration. He stressed the importance of urban rivers for the peace of mind of the city’s inhabitants:“Whether we like it or not, life in mega cities is stressful. Green spaces and rivers are important for relaxation and recreation of the urban citizens.”
H.E. Mr. Meidani, Deputy Minister of Energy for Water and Wastewater Affairs talked about the different stakeholders involved in the management of water resources and stressed that the Ministry of Energy was ready to support any efforts to restore urban rivers.
Ms. Esther Kuisch Laroche, Director and Representative of theUNESCOTehran Cluster Office said:“Urbanisation has come at a great cost to rivers – they have been heavily degraded to enable development, carry waste, supply drinking water and facilitate transport and industry. These stresses make rivers less resilient to the effects of climate change. This is why initiatives such as today’s gathering on the restoration of urban rivers are so important.”
The UNESCO Representative went on to talk about UNESCO’s work in sustainable water resources management and highlighted its importance in the context of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda:
“Reaching the ambitious objectives of the 2030 Agenda demands that we address universal access to drinking water and sanitation along with issues of quality and supply, in tandem with improved water management to protect ecosystems and build resiliency. Restoring our urban rivers will play an important part in this process.”
The UNESCO Representative highlighted in particular Sustainable Development Goals 6 and 11, which relate to water and sanitation and sustainable cities and communities.
After her speech, she unveiled the urban river symbol for public awareness together with the other keynote speakers.

The opening ceremony was followed by the inauguration of a side exhibition in which several consultants, contractors, municipalities, and RCUWM demonstrated their activities and achievements in urban river restoration.

In the afternoon, there were three panel discussions on “the existing situation of urban rivers and stakeholder involvement”, “best practices and lessons learned in urban river restoration”, and “technical, legal, institutional and socio-economic dimensions of urban river restoration”.

The following day, on May 10th, a group of some 50 participants visited the Farahzad river site to discuss the local urban river restoration experiences.

8 May 2016 – Photo Story: Tange Sayad and Sabzkuh are registered as UNESCO’s World Network of Biosphere Reserve

Biosphere reserves are nominated by national governments and remain under the sovereign jurisdiction of the states where they are located. Their status is internationally recognized.

There are 669 biosphere reserves in 120 countries.Since 1960, Iran has been a pioneer member of Man and Biosphere committee (MAB) and has already 10 registered Biosphere reserves which covers important protected areas such as Touran, Arjan & Parishan, Urumiyeh and Miankaleh. All of these sites cover important biodiversity, wetlands and forests altogether.

During the 27th MAB ICC meeting in Paris in June 2015, Sabz Kuh and Tang-e Sayyad and Hamoun Biosphere Reserves were formally registered as 11th and 12th Biosphere reserves in Iran
Below you can see our pictorial report from this event which took place on May 7, 2016:


20160510 UNDP10The local community greeted the guests by performing local music and dance


20160510 UNDP11The ceremony took place in Tange Sayad area


20160510 UNDP12Mr. Murali visited the MENARID project booths


20160510 UNDP13Mr. Houshang Jazi, MENARID National Project Manager talking about the project pilot sites in the province

20160510 UNDP14Mr. Murali talking about the importance of the biosphere reserves and thanked the government of Iran for paying a special attention to environment related issues

20160510 UNDP15Madam Ebtekar presented the plaque to the Governor General


20160510 UNDP16After the ceremony Mr. Murali visited one of MENARID’s pilot sites in Dorahan village. The MENARID project strengthens institutions by contributing to the removal of constraints to integrated natural resources management (INRM), through three main outcomes: 1.Identify the main drivers of ecosystem use and change and their impacts on both ecosystem services and local livelihoods. 2. Enable improved INRM practices. 3. Enable improved community-driven approaches and techniques for INRM and ecosystem management

20160510 UNDP17UNDP staff were greeted by the local girls at the mosque

20160510 UNDP18After the session in the mosque, Mr. Murali visited the women’s workshop. Women in Dorahan village are doing their best to support their families and MENARID project is helping them to achieve their goals



3 May 2016 - UNESCO supports capacity-building on cultural property law

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On 3 May 2016, ICOM-Iran and the Research Institute of the Iranian Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization (ICHHTO) jointly organized a training session on cultural property law. The event took place in the Holy Defense Museum in Tehran and brought together museum staff and other professionals working in the field of cultural heritage.

During the opening ceremony, Dr. Tabatabaei (Director of ICOM-Iran) and Mr. Khazraei (Director of the Holy Defense Museum) welcomed the participants. Then Dr. Beheshti, Director of the Research Institute of ICHHTO spoke of the importance of cultural property law and the need to raise greater awareness and fight against the illicit trafficking of cultural property.

Ms. Esther Kuisch Laroche, Director and Representative of the UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office, provided an overview of UNESCO’s Culture Conventions as well as some of UNESCO’s activities in support of museums.

She highlighted the responsibilities of States Parties who have ratified the conventions and explained the importance and benefits of each of the Conventions. With regards to museums, Ms. Kuisch Laroche said: “UNESCO carries out capacity building for museum specialists in the conservation of collections and inventorying and documentation to contribute to the fight against illicit trafficking of cultural objects”. She mentioned that several training workshops had already been organized in Iran in recent years and that new activities were planned for this year. Ms. Kuisch Laroche also talked about the “Recommendation concerning the Protection and Promotion of Museums and Collections – Their Diversity and Their Role in Society”, which was adopted by the 28th session of UNESCO’s General Conference on 17 November 2015, and highlighted a number of UNESCO museum projects.

Other speakers included Professor Marc-André Renold, Head of the UNESCO Chair in the International Law of the Protection of Cultural Heritage at the University of Geneva; Dr. Janet Blake, Head of the Human Rights Chair for Bioethics at Shahid Beheshti University; and Dr. Alessandro Kaki, Dr. Benhamo, and Mr. Hasan Fartousi from the University of Geneva.

The experts covered topics ranging from the return and restitution of cultural property to intangible cultural heritage.

Mr. Cvetan Cvetkovski - UNESCO


Mr. Cvetan Cvetkovski



Nationality: Macedonia 

Academic background: PhD in Law, St. Cyril and Methodius University, Skopje, Republic of Macedonia.


Work Experience:

10 March 2019 - present:  Officer-in-Charge, UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office.

Jan 2011 – March 2019:  Senior Planning and Programme Officer, Office of the Director-General, UNESCO Headquarters, Paris, France.

Aug 2002 - Dec 2010:  Chief, Staff Relations Section, Bureau of Human Resources Management, UNESCO Headquarters, Paris, France.

Sep 2000 - August 2002:  Senior Advisor to the President of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, United Nations, International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR).

Oct 1998 - Aug 2000:  Government Agent before the European Court of Human Rights, Government of the Republic of Macedonia.

May 1995 – Sep 1998:  State Advisor - Head of the Department for Human Rights in the Ministry of Justice, Government of the Republic of Macedonia.

Apr 1986 - May 1995:  Legal Advisor, Constitutional Court of Macedonia.

Sep 1982 - Apr 1986:   Research Fellow, St. Cyril and Methodius University, Skopje, Institute for Legal, Sociological and Political Studies, Macedonia.

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