In the verdant province, especially its lush Khalid Nabi region, an unexpected water scarcity threatens the area’s once-thriving greenery. Tourists who marveled at the vibrant landscape just a year ago now struggle to reconcile themselves to the recent images of the region’s gray, desiccated terrain, according to Iran Newspaper.
Hamid Salamati, director general of Golestan’s Natural Resources and Watershed Management, confirms the alarming transformation, warning that the province’s 862,000 hectares of pastures are at risk of desertification. Despite its picturesque Hyrcanian forests, Golestan is not immune to the encroaching drought and desertification phenomenon.
Currently, an estimated 306,000 hectares of desert span the counties of Gonbad-e Kavus, Maraveh Tappeh, Gomishan, and Aqqala. Officials attribute the situation to a significant decrease in rainfall, which has dropped by 40 percent from 250 mm to 150 mm in recent years. As the once-vibrant Khalid Nabi region faces an uncertain future, the stark reality of climate change becomes increasingly difficult to ignore.
The consequences of drought and fine dust air pollution are also concerning. Officials warn that in addition to causing respiratory and lung diseases, they weaken forest trees, making them susceptible to pests, diseases, and illnesses. While climatic disturbance and temperature increase are global issues, they are particularly pronounced in Iran due to the country’s geographic location in a dry and semi-arid region.
Despite these challenges, Golestan remains a beautiful and unique part of Iran, with its stunning jungles and diverse wildlife. The province is home to a large portion of the Hyrcanian forest strip in the north of the country, which provides a vital habitat for many rare and endangered species.
The alarming situation of the province’s nature is quite strange and unbelievable. Even experts cannot imagine facing such an utterly-transformed scene within a year. This serves as a call to action for the government and citizens of Golestan Province to take immediate measures to address these pressing issues and prevent further desertification of the region.