Environmental issues in Iran


Environmental issues in Iran

Environmental issues in Iran include,balls in urban areas, vehicle emissions, refinery operations, and industrial effluents which contribute to poor air quality. Most cars use leaded gas and lack emissions control equipment. [ [http://iran-daily.com/1386/2880/html/economy.htm Iran Daily - Domestic Economy - 07/01/07 ] ] Tehran is rated as one of the world’s most polluted cities. However, buses and cars running on natural gas are planned to replace the existing public transportation fleet in the future. Also, energy prices are kept artificially low in Iran through heavy state subsidies, resulting in highly inefficient and polluting consumption patterns.

A rising incidence of respiratory illnesses prompted the city governments of Tehran and Arak, southwest of the capital, to institute air pollution control programs. These programs aim to reduce gradually the amount of harmful chemicals released into the atmosphere.

Much of Iran’s territory suffers from overgrazing, desertification and/or deforestation. Industrial and urban wastewater runoff has contaminated rivers and coastal waters and threatened drinking water supplies. Wetlands and bodies of fresh water increasingly are being destroyed as industry and agriculture expand, and oil and chemical spills have harmed aquatic life in the Persian Gulf and the Caspian Sea. Iran contends that the international rush to develop oil and gas reserves in the Caspian Sea presents that region with a new set of environmental threats. Although a Department of Environment has existed since 1971, Iran has not yet developed a policy of sustainable development because short term economic goals have taken precedence.

The World Bank estimates losses inflicted on Iran’s economy as a result of deaths caused by air pollution at $640 million, which is equal to 5.1 trillion rials or 0.57 percent of GDP. Diseases resulting from air pollution are inflicting losses estimated at $260 million per year or 2.1 trillion rials or 0.23 percent of the GDP on Iran’s economy. A report by the United Nations Environment Programme ranked Iran at 117th place among 133 countries in terms of environmental indexes. [ [http://iran-daily.com/1385/2798/html/ Iran Daily - Front Page - 03/06/07 ] ]

Major Environmental Agreements party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands signed, but not ratified: Environmental Modification, Law of the Sea, Marine Life Conservation

Natural hazards: periodic droughts, floods; dust storms, sandstorms; earthquakes along western border and in the northeast.

ee also

*Wildlife of Iran
*Pollution in Tehran
*Geography of Iran
*Water and sanitation - Iran
*Gasoline subsidies - Iran
*Economy of Iran

References

External links

* [http://www.irandoe.org/ Department of Environment - Islamic Republic of Iran]
* [http://www.atiehbahar.com/Resources/Environment.htm Environment in Iran - Brief Sector Study] (2003)
* [http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/cabs/Iran/Profile.html US Dept. of Energy] - Environment Overview for Iran


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