UNESCO’s World Network of Biosphere Reserves Adds Iran’s Kopet Dag to Its List

Sunday, August 12, 2018 - 14:14

Iran’s Kopet Dag, also known as the Turkmen-Khorasan Mountain Range, a protected area stretching over 18,000 hectares of land area and is filled with thick forests and variety of plant and animal species, has received UNESCO recognition for biosphere reserves.

The biosphere reserve covers part of the Kopet Dag mountain range, along Iran’s border with Turkmenistan. The ecological region of Kopet Dag is an important part of the Irano-Anatolian biodiversity hotspot, whose primary function is the conservation of many of the endangered species in this area. The main economic activities are agriculture and livestock, according to UNESCO website.

North Khorasan provincial chief of department of environment stated that over 80 percent of the region is located in Iran and highlighted that as involvement of local communities in management of biosphere reserves in order to make them less dependent on natural resources is a characteristics of UNESCO biosphere reserves, over the first phase Iran will also endeavor to focus on locals’ capacity building to decrease human-environment conflict along with providing the local with livelihood.

Festivities to celebrate the UNESCO recognition for Kopet Dag will be held in the first half of the [Iranian calendar] month of Shahrivar (August 22 to September 22), he said, IRNA news agency reported.

Iran has 13 UNESCO recognized biosphere reserves including Arasbaran, situated in the north of Iran at the border with Armenia and Azerbaijan, Arjan and Parishan, in the Zagros Mountains, situated to the very south of the Zagros Mountains, close to the Persian Gulf, Golestan, located in the north of Iran, Hara, located in the Mehran River delta in the south of Iran near the Straits of Khuran between Qeshm Island and the Persian Gulf, Kavir, in the Anatolian Iranian Desert, Lake Urmia, northwest Iran, Miankaleh, in the southeastern region of the Caspian Sea, Touran, in central province of Semnan, Dena, located in the Central Zagros mountains, Tang-e-Sayad and Sabzkuh, in the southeast of Chahar-mahal and Bakhtiari province, Located in the southeast of Iran, and Hamoun in southeast Iran which includes both terrestrial and wetland ecosystems, and Kopet Dag.

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