According to state-run media, half of Iran’s northern forests have been destroyed in the past 40 years.
The north of Iran is known for its lush greenery and forests and Iranians from all over the country, especially Tehran, flock to northern towns all year long.
Most of Iran’s forests are located in the north of Iran which borders the Caspian Sea where the inhabitants of the provinces of Gilan, Mazandaran, and Golestan enjoy a subtropical climate.
But now according to a member of the Iran Environment and Natural Resources Network Coordination Council, deforestation has destroyed half of Iran’s northern forests.
“According to the data of The Natural Resources and Forestry Organization, during the past 40 years, the area of the northern forests has gone from 3,600,000 to 1,800,000 hectares,” Massoud Molana said.
“When half of the forests are gone, the rain is no longer a blessing and turn into floods,” he added citing the recent floods in Iran which ravaged the north of Iran.
The environment official said that rain had decreased by 20 percent in the past 50 years while floods had increased by 50 percent.
“Rain is considered a disaster in northern Iran these days because trees have been cut down under the excuse of development, building schools, industry, roads and villas, and therefore, deforestation means flood water is directed better,” Molana added in comments carried by ISNA state-run News Agency.
Tabnak state-run website also covered the staggering report on the speed of deforestation of Iran’s northern forests.
“These are very large numbers and when in regard to a semi-arid country, it will lead to a huge catastrophe; We are apparently not able to understand the full scale catastrophe that our country faces, for if we did, we would not continue the spread (of deforestation) at full speed,” the website wrote.
“We are talking about the process of deforestation, which is so extensive that it can be seen,” wrote another Iranian website.
“The increase of construction on a day to day basis can be seen clearly by those who take various trips to the north of our country; the tragedy that had struck the coastal strip is now taking place at double the speed in the forest areas,” Vosaat website added.
“With only a little information about forests, one can comprehend that it will lead to erosion, pollution, the reduction of biodiversity and the extinction of various animal and plant species,” the state-run website wrote.
“There is not much time left before all the forests in the north are destroyed,” the website warned.