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Number Seven Thousand Two Hundred and Ninety Eight - 23 May 2023
Iran Daily - Number Seven Thousand Two Hundred and Ninety Eight - 23 May 2023 - Page 7

86 species face extinction in Iran

The director of the Iranian Department of Environment on Monday sounded the alarm about the rising number of terrestrial vertebrates facing extinction in Iran.
On the occasion of the International Day for Biological Diversity, Ali Salajeqeh expressed deep concerns about the alarming decline in global biodiversity. In a message, he said a staggering 25% of animal and plant species are now on the verge of extinction. This distressing figure translates to nearly one million species teetering on the edge of oblivion, while the number of endangered terrestrial vertebrates in Iran alone stands at 86 species.
Salajeqeh underscored Iran’s pivotal role as a global center for genetic resources, boasting an array of economically valuable flora such as wheat, apple, saffron, pistachio, rose, pomegranate, and medicinal plants. Furthermore, he said the country is a biodiversity hotspot, harboring over 2,000 vertebrate species, 20,000 invertebrates, and 8,600 plant species. However, the preservation and safeguarding of these invaluable resources are not without their challenges.
He highlighted the profound impact of Iran’s biodiversity on climate change, shedding light on pressing issues surrounding water resource management, mitigation of fine dust particles, wetland protection, and regional impediments.
Salajeqeh stressed the unwavering commitment of Iran to biodiversity preservation, notably through the adoption of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework that imposes significant responsibilities, demanding concerted efforts to reduce species extinction and protect vital habitats.
The country aims to capitalize on its scientific capabilities and engage with international authorities to proactively preserve its biodiversity reserves, building upon previous conservation initiatives, he added.
To enhance species conservation, Salajeqeh proposed expanding protected areas that focus on exceptional biodiversity.
Presently, Iran boasts 309 protected areas, covering approximately 11.6% of the nation’s total area. However, the director called for comprehensive action plans to manage the threatened species effectively.

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