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FA EN

24thNational-Regional Conference of the Iranian Society of Environmentalists (IRSEN) and

14th Green Development Festival and Exhibition of the National Painting and Photo Contest 

Environment in planning and Land Use: Current status and Future Vision

(Regional and Global Interactions)

 24-25February, 2020

پوستر ارسال مقالات همایش انگلیسی98پوستر همایش انگلیسی Copy

Camera Trap Captures Iranian Cheetahs

An Iranian engineer has developed a new camera trap to capture pictures of Iranian cheetahs.
download Camera Trap Captures Iranian Cheetahs

(Iran's Environment News Agency) - Ehsan Soleimani, an MSc electrical engineering student and a member of the Iranian Cheetah Society, built the system as his MSc thesis project.
In order to determine their effectiveness, he has offered his cameras to the society, who installed them in Darreh-Anjir Sanctuary (meaning ‘fig valley’) for the purposes of his project. The traps proved very useful, and captured pictures of cheetahs in the sanctuary. The cameras took photos of Ardalan and Arsalan, two of three cheetahs in the valley.
“The system is equipped with a 20 megapixel camera and runs on solar power, which keeps the system on 24/7,” said Soleimani about his invention. The whole system weighs less than a kilogram and can hold up to 128GB of data.
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Iran Insures Cheetahs for Liability Hoping To Set Global Example

Iran signed a cheetah insurance policy agreement on Saturday during a ceremony held in the Natural History Museum located in Tehran’s Pardisan Eco Park.

(Iran's Environment News Agency) - Iran signed a cheetah insurance policy agreement on Saturday during a ceremony held in the Natural History Museum located in Tehran’s Pardisan Eco Park. While bitter reports of the death of a cheetah in Boyer-Ahmad, apparently pregnant with quadruplets, were still making the rounds in print and online media, environmental officials and a volunteering insurance company announced an innovative measure that could help preserve the critically endangered species.
 
A memorandum of understanding was signed between Iran’s Department of Environment, the National Environment Fund, and Ma Insurance Company to provide liability insurance for Iranian cheetahs in the hope of saving them from extinction.
 
The executive director of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), Achim Steiner, who was on a visit to take part in the second edition of the International Seminar on Environment, Religion and Culture, as well as the head of Iran’s Department of Environment (DoE), attended the ceremony.
 
“This is a new cooperation with the country’s insurance sector which has taken significant steps with regard to its social responsibilities,” said Deputy President and DoE director, Massoumeh Ebtekar.
 
The cooperation will have a remarkable message not only in national levels but also in the global scene and can turn into a worldwide example as environmental protection is among the most important global concerns, added Ebtekar.
 
“So far, effective measures have been adopted to minimize cheetah mortality rates, promote the significance of the species’ protection among people, and reduce tensions between cheetahs and local people,” Mizan Online quoted her as saying.
 
UNEP executive director Steiner also called the insurance agreement an innovative measure he will try to introduce in other countries to encourage economic sectors to get involved in environmental activities. The comprehensive Iranian cheetah insurance agreement has turned three losing parties into three winners, he said. “The leopards which attack the livestock and get hurt killed as a result, the shepherds who bear losses as a result of such attacks and the Department of Environment that is in charge of wildlife protection are the three winners,” Tehran Times quoted him as saying.
 
“Being an umbrella species, Persian leopards are very important to the environment and the lives of other species,” the director of Conservation, Hunting and Fishing Office at the DoE Ali Teymouri said on the sidelines of the ceremony.
 
The insurance aims at compensating the losses inflicted upon human beings, livestock such as lambs, horses, donkeys, cows, and camels as well as the leopards themselves, Teymouri explained.
 
Ma Insurance Company, which belongs to Iran’s Mellat Bank and the Petroleum Ministry Pension Fund, has expressed hope the move can promote an insurance culture in Iran and prevent villagers from killing cheetahs using guns. The CEO of Ma, Majid Safdari, says his company would stand by the DoE in cases the cheetahs are victimized by other incidents such as baiting, road crossings, and diseases, according to Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA). The ceiling for compensations will stand at 65 million tomans (roughly $21500). More than 70 percent of the species’ mortalities are blamed on poachers and poisoned baits.
 
According to a statement issued by Ma Insurance Public Relations, the insurance policy mainly covers livestock damages caused by cheetah attacks but will also include third party physical damages. The voluntary initiative also offers compensation for damages to the environment inflicted through causes including road accidents, baiting and poisoning, drought, floods, fires among others except for death due to old age in order to improve protection and reduce threats to the species. A less publicized coverage included in the memorandum of understanding targets wolves and the damages caused by their attacks.
 
Ma has also responded to reports on the death of the leopard that died of difficult delivery beside her four cubs, in a no-hunt zone in Khorram Naz, located near the city of Boyer-Ahmad in Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad province, south-west of the country. Ma has pledged to compensate for the death, promising to make a public announcement when they make the first payment.
 
The Persian leopard, also called the Caucasian leopard or Central Asian leopard, is enlisted as endangered on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List.
 
The species was not spotted in years until a picture surfaced in the 1980s and in another event, locals attacked several cubs and their mother where only one cub survived. These led to multilateral conservation efforts in Iran. However, only some 50 adult cheetah remain in the wild in Iran.
 
An article published on Tabnak, hours before the ceremony held to sign the memorandum of understanding, hailed the move as an effective measure in the conservation of the species and asks for the same model to be implemented on other endangered animals.
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by Alireza Ghamkhar, Translate Fatemeh Ghamkhar

Tags: 

New UN study links trees in drylands with sustainable development

the findings could be used to track progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals and help fight climate change.

(Iran's Environment News Agency) - For the first time, a new United Nations report details the number of trees, forests and how the land is used in the world’s drylands, and the findings could be used to track progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals and help fight climate change.
The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) today issued in Rome the preliminary findings of the first ever statistical sampling-based assessment of land use in the world’s drylands, amid its World Forest Week.
Using freely available satellite images and a newly developed survey method, FAO found that drylands cover about 41 per cent of the world’s land surface – an area twice the size of Africa. Of that land, 1.1 billion hectares are forest, accounting for more than one-quarter of the global forest area.
The leaves and fruit of trees are sources of food for people and fodder for animals; their wood provides fuel for cooking and heating and can be a source of income for poor households; trees protect soils, crops and animals from the sun and winds, while forests are often rich in biodiversity.
The UN agency cites recent studies which point to the need to restore drylands to better cope with the effects of drought, desertification and land degradation.
Drylands are divided into four aridity zones. The least arid of the four is the dry sub-humid zone, such as the Sudanian savanna in West Africa, the grasslands in South America, the steppes in southern Siberia and the Canadian prairie. Most dryland forests occur in this zone, as do some large irrigated, intensively farmed areas along perennial rivers.
At the other extreme, the driest is the hyper-arid zone, which is dominated by deserts, including the Sahara and the Arabian.
More than 200 experts with knowledge of the land and land uses in specific dryland regions conducted the assessment, which will be released in full later this year.
The FAO Global Drylands Assessment is expected to provide Governments, donors and other stakeholders in sustainable development with a valuable tool to guide policy-making and investments to aid people already threatened by climate change.
The baseline information is being already used for the baseline assessment and monitoring in the FAO-implemented project, “Action Against Desertification”, an initiative of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP).
It is expected to further enhance Governments’ abilities to track progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular Goal 15on sustainably managing forests, combating desertification, halting and reversing land degradation and halting biodiversity loss.
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Worldwide Extraction of Materials Triples in Four Decades, Intensifying Climate Change and Air Pollution

Richest countries consume on average 10 times as many materials as worlds poorest Planet will need 180 billion tonnes of material every year by 2050 if trends continue.
download climate change

(Iran's Environment News Agency) - Rising consumption fuelled by a growing middle class has seen the amount of primary materials extracted from the Earth triple in the last four decades, according to a new report by the United Nations Environment Programme-hosted International Resource Panel (IRP).
The dramatic increase in the use of fossil fuels, metals and other materials will intensify climate change, increase air pollution, reduce biodiversity and ultimately lead to the depletion of natural resources, causing worrying shortages of critical materials and heightening the risk of local conflicts, warns the report.
"The alarming rate at which materials are now being extracted is already having a severe impact on human health and people's quality of life," said IRP Co-Chair Alicia Bárcena Ibarra. "It shows that the prevailing patterns of production and consumption are unsustainable.
"We urgently need to address this problem before we have irreversibly depleted the resources that power our economies and lift people out of poverty. This deeply complex problem, one of humanity's biggest tests yet, calls for a rethink of the governance of natural resource extraction to maximize its contribution to sustainable development at all levels."
The information on material flows contained in the new report complements economic statistics, identifies the scale and urgency of global environmental issues and supports the monitoring of the progress countries are making towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The amount of primary materials extracted from the Earth rose from 22 billion tonnes in 1970 to a staggering 70 billion tonnes in 2010, with the richest countries consuming on average 10 times as many materials as the poorest countries and twice as much as the world average.
If the world continues to provide housing, mobility, food, energy and water in the same way as today, by 2050 the planet's nine billion people would require 180 billion tonnes of material every year to meet demand. This is almost three times today's amount and will likely raise the acidification and eutrophication of the world's soils and water bodies, increase soil erosion and lead to greater amounts of waste and pollution.
The report also ranks countries by the size of their per-capita material footprints - the amount of material required for final demand in a country, an indicator that sheds light on the true impact of a country on the global natural resource base. It is also a good proxy for the material standard of living in a country.
Europe and North America, which had annual per capita material footprints of 20 and 25 tonnes in 2010, are at the top of the table. By comparison, China had a material footprint of 14 tonnes per capita and Brazil 13 tonnes.
The annual per-capita material footprint for Asia-Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean, and West Asia is between 9 and 10 tonnes. Africa's footprint is below 3 tonnes per capita.
Global material use has rapidly accelerated since 2000 as emerging economies like China undergo industrial and urban transformations that require unprecedented amounts of iron, steel, cement, energy and construction materials.
Since 1990, there has been little improvement in global material efficiency. In fact, efficiency started to decline around 2000. The global economy now needs more material per unit of GDP than it did at the turn of the century because production has shifted from material-efficient economies such as Japan, South Korea and Europe to far less material-efficient economies like China, India and South East Asia. This has led to an increase in environmental pressure for every unit of economic activity.
The report, Global Material Flows and Resource Productivity, presents various ways the world can maintain economic growth and increase human development while reducing the amount of primary materials it uses to achieve this.
Decoupling escalating material use from economic growth is the "imperative of modern environmental policy and essential for the prosperity of human society and a healthy natural environment", states the IRP, which is a consortium of 34 internationally renowned scientists, over 30 national governments and other groups.
Decoupling, which will be necessary for countries to achieve the SDGs, requires well-designed policies. Investments in research and development, combined with better public policy and financing, will be essential. This will create significant economic opportunities for inclusive and sustained economic growth and job creation.
But increasing material efficiency alone is not enough. By lowering costs, greater efficiency will allow for higher economic growth and perhaps hamper efforts to reduce overall material demand. The IRP recommends putting a price on primary materials at extraction in order to reflect the social and environmental costs of resource extraction and use while reducing the consumption of materials. The extra funds generated could then be invested in R&D in resource intensive sectors of the economy.
Looking to the future, the IRP warns that low-income countries will require increasing quantities of materials to achieve the same level of development experienced by high-income countries. This expanding demand for materials will possibly contribute to local conflicts like those seen in areas where mining competes with agriculture and urban development.
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