Dept. of environment to revive Hamun Lake

TEHRAN, Nov. 26 (MNA) – Iran’s Department of Environment is calling on Afghanistan and other international organizations to help revive Hamun Lake ecosystem.

Mohsen Soleimani Rouzbahani, project director of Iran’s wetlands perseveration, said “at the moment, Hamun Lake is in dire conditions. But we are concentrating our efforts to find appropriate solutions to revive this international wetland.”

“During drought, if the ecosystem is not manipulated too much, one can hold high hopes for its restoration; otherwise, that would make its restoration very difficult,” he said.

While noting that Hamun Lake has great potential to be revived should planning and source allocation be provide, he said, “after a long dry period, water now is streaming through the lake bed, and we have seen the return of flora and aquatic animals.”

“We are strongly against any harmful measure to wetlands ecosystem,” he stressed, “we are making a lot of endeavor to systematize the exploitation of Hamun Lake and prevent any illegal interference.”

Soleimani expressed hope that with cooperation from people and organizations the revival of Hamun Lake would soon become a reality.

Hamun Lake is the seventh international wetlands into which Afghanistan’s longest river Helmand is emptied. But a long dispute between Kabul and Tehran has centered on Iran’s claim to a portion of the Helmand’s waters. Under an agreement between the two countries signed in 1973, Afghanistan is obliged to let at least 26 cubic meters of water per second flow from the dams into Iran. And while control over the flow has long proven a source of contention between the two countries, in 1999, the Taliban turned the taps off completely.

Earlier this year, torrential rains filled a small part of the lake, but high temperatures and strong wind storms are drying even this small portion of water.

Iran is calling on Afghanistan and international organizations to assist Iran in reviving this once vibrant area, known for its abundant wetlands, bio-diversity and natural productivity.

By Mehr News Agency

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