FAO envoy echoes Supreme Leader’s call for natural resources protection

FAO Representative to the Islamic Republic of Iran, Serge Nakouzi

FAO Representative to the Islamic Republic of Iran, Serge Nakouzi

Tehran, March 11, IRNA – At a tree-planting ceremony held on Tuesday in Tehran under the title “Birthday of the Earth”, the Representative of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) to Iran emphasized the importance of adhering to the call made by the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran on the need for the nation to mobilize efforts to protect the country’s natural resources and forests.

“In embracing the essence of the Supreme Leader’s recommendations – let us do our best in planting more trees and not allow our forests, rangelands and the green environment in our urban and peri-urban areas to be destroyed”, said Serge Nakouzi, the FAO Representative to the Islamic Republic of Iran, while addressing officials form the Forest, Range and Watershed Management Organization (FRWO) of the Ministry of Jihad-e-Agriculture, Ministry of Education and Department of Environment along with students form the local schools gathered on the occasion of the national week of natural resources at the Shahid Bahonar Student Camp in Tehran.

Highlighting the fact that Iran is leading by example in dedicating a whole week to the celebration of natural resources, he underscored that these celebrations not only reflected the significance attributed by the country to the safeguarding of the environment but, more notably, they symbolize the deep-rooted cultural appreciation of the vital link between humanity’s existence and the natural resources of the land on which we live, FAO-Tehran quoted him saying.

Nakouzi referred to invaluable contribution made by forests and trees to sustain and protect the lives of populations, pointing out that forests and trees “provide the clean air that we breathe and the water that we drink. They host and safeguard the planet’s biodiversity and act as our natural defence against climate change. Life on earth is made possible and sustainable thanks to forests and trees”.

Forests are crucial in helping us adapt to climate change as they help ensure water availability, protect against landslides, prevent desertification and provide alternative livelihoods for people. Protecting forests conserves the biodiversity that is vital for plants, humans and other animals to adjust to the variations in our climate.

World Forestry Day was established in November 1971 by FAO Member States at the 16th session of the FAO Conference.

By celebrating this day each year on 21 March (a date which coincides with Nowruz – the Persian New Year), the global community has acknowledged for the past 45 years the central role played by forests in environmentally sustainable development and FAO’s pivotal contribution as the leading global and UN organization on forestry matters.

At its 67th Session held in February 2013, the UN General Assembly also recognized the significance of the ‘International Day of Forests’ and adopted a resolution calling upon FAO and the UN Forum on Forests to raise awareness at all levels on the need to strengthen the conservation sustainable management and sustainable development of all types of forests and trees outside forests for the benefit of current and future generations.

Every year, during the Week of Natural Resources FAO joins efforts with the various Ministries of the government in the Islamic Republic of Iran to reach out to all levels of the nation, including local communities and school children, to advocate the need to manage responsibly all of the natural resources available within the country since the survival of the future generations depends on it.