Environment official says Iran looking for more international cooperation

NEW YORK — Faced with mounting environmental challenges, Iran is implementing an ambitious program to reduce greenhouse gases and restore dried wetlands, but it would benefit from more international cooperation, including a resumption of lending by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), a senior official says.

In an exclusive interview Sept. 22 on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly’s annual meeting, Majid Shafie-Pour, the deputy head of Iran’s Department of Environment, told Al-Monitor that US opposition to GEF support for Iran has hurt his country’s ability to achieve even more.

“Environmental challenges in Iran are really on a soaring path,” Shafie-Pour said. He cited the impact of climate change, drought and a rise in devastating dust and sandstorms from dried-up lakes and wetlands.
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This article was written by Barbara Slavin for Al-Monitor on Sep. 22, 2016. Barbara Slavin is the Washington correspondent for Al-Monitor and acting director of the Future of Iran Initiative at the Atlantic Council.