More than 50,000 ha of desert areas to rehabilitate
Tehran – At least 50,000 hectares of desert areas in the country will be protected and rehabilitated through the implementation of sustainable logging projects with the participation of local communities, said Vahid Jafarian, an official with the Forest Management Organization, routes and watersheds.
Technical and executive guidelines on desert rehabilitation have been developed based on the latest scientific achievements and experiences of successful projects in the country and around the world, he said.
The study, identification and management of the phenomenon of desertification and the control of wind erosion in the desert areas of the country are part of our tasks, he explained, ISNA reported on Sunday.
The use of windbreaks, planting, maintenance and irrigation, management of reforested forests, runoff management, protection and seeding are some of the plans implemented since the beginning of the year. ongoing Iranian civilians (March 21), he said.
According to Jafarian, the most important approach of these guidelines is defined on the basis of the participation of the people.
Each year, about 25,000 hectares of land are reforested in Iran, which is more than double the annual deforestation. However, reforested land may not have the same biodiversity and vegetation as the original forests.
Reforestation is the natural or intentional repopulation of existing forests and woodlands (afforestation) that have been depleted, usually due to deforestation. Reforestation can be used to rectify or improve the quality of human life by absorbing pollution and dust from the air, rebuilding natural habitats and ecosystems, mitigating global warming since forests facilitate the biosequestration of atmospheric carbon dioxide and harvest for resources, especially timber, but also non-timber forest products.
However, restoring forests is not just planting trees. Forests are made up of a community of species and they build up dead organic matter in soils over time.
Last year, Reza Bayani, an official with the Forest, Rangeland and Watershed Management Organization, said that between 2015 and 2020, around 12,000 hectares of forests across the country were wiped out each year.
He went on to say that the country’s forests are estimated at 14.3 million hectares, lamenting that deforestation occurs for a variety of reasons, including the construction of dams, road construction, fires and smuggling of timber.
Iran, like many other countries in West Asia, is mostly made up of arid deserts, while compared to neighboring Saudi Arabia (95% desert), Turkmenistan (80% desert) and Iraq (40% desert), only about 23% of its area is covered with desert areas.
Why do deserts need protection?
Deserts are topographical landscapes that receive little rainfall in a typical year. The threshold is 10 inches or 25 cm. But more than just low rainfall, a desert is “arid,” which means a high rate of water loss through plant regeneration (called transpiration) and evaporation.
Deserts will vary depending on their climate and location, and their overall aridity can influence many things including ecology, food chain, types of plants and animals. Heavy evaporation results in higher salt levels, further affecting the plants that can grow, individual size, and the number of herbivores that can feed on them and, therefore, carnivores.
Some experience vast fluctuations in temperature, especially hot deserts which can reach unbearable heat during the day and extreme cold at night. This is because rock and sand absorb heat during the day and release it at night. There can also be extreme variation between hot and cool seasons, including extreme winds and storms due to the mixing of cold and warm air.
Deserts are of vital importance to the planetary ecosystem. They cover about 1/3 of the mainland of our planet. They are also among the most fragile and endangered biomes.
FB / MG