Despite the existence of deterrent laws, the issue of soil and wood trafficking in Iran threatens the country’s environment.
The parliament’s representative in the northwest city of Mahabad recently warned about an increase in the deforestation of Iran’s western regions and Iran’s wood trafficking in comments carried by the semi-official ILNA news agency.
He also criticized the silence of the Environment and Natural Resources Protection Agency on Iran’s wood trafficking and the government’s and parliament’s ineffectiveness in addressing the problem of soil trafficking.
Jalal Mahmoudzadeh, who is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Parliamentary Agriculture, Water and Natural Resources Committee, said that during the last few months, there had been a sharp increase in the harvesting of Zagros and western forests, and that the Environment and Natural Resources Protection Agency had been silent on the matter of deforestation and Iran’s wood trafficking .
The MP said that the sharp increase was the result of a halt in deforestation in northern Iran.
“After it was decided that no had the right to exploit the trees in the north for two to three years, unfortunately, in the past few months, the harvesting of Zagros forest and other western forests had a sharp increase and we have witnessed the cutting down of many trees in the west of the country,” Mahmoudzadeh said.
“The trafficking of wood does not mean that the wood is only shipped out of the country but rather it is sold to domestic factories. Unfortunately, the trees in Zagros forest are cut down and sold to paper mills or neighboring countries. Many dealers benefit from this, and this poses a threat to the Zagros and western forests.”
Mahmoudzadeh also said that Iranian soil had been smuggled to the Arabian Gulf region during the past 15 to 16 years.
“Mostly clay soil is smuggled, as the Gulf countries are more interested in clay soil, because the soil of these countries are sandy. However, all the trafficked soil are not from natural resources, but rather more agricultural soil from farmlands that are left unused due to climate change, rainfall reduction, the drying of wells and groundwater level reduction and are bought and smuggled by traffickers,” the MP added.
Mahmoudzadeh said that the government and the parliament failed to monitor the implementation of the law on soil conservation, according to which the “transfer and sale of soil” is prohibited except for specific research and student use.
Environmentalist and some officials have repeatedly warned against the trafficking of Iran’s soil but no serious preventive action has been taken by the government.