On October 14, Dezful representative, Abbas Papizadeh, gave an interview to the regime’s Parliament News Website. He told them that for the past two decades, Iran’s forest area has been reduced each year by an average 100,000 hectares, and he stressed that the few remaining forests should be protected.
A 10-year respite plan for forests has long been put on the agenda of the Environment Protection Agency and presented to the Parliament after being approved by the cabinet.
Papizadeh described forests’ condition as ‘critical’ to the Parliament News Agency, “according to Forests Respite Plan, legal exploitation of forests will not be allowed for a while in order to let forests reach a desirable and appropriate state. During the time the plan is in place, only dry and infested trees may be cut down.” However, he warned that legal permission to log the dry and infested trees might be used as an excuse for deforestation.
Also concerned over the indiscriminate exploitation of forests is Ali Mohammad Shaeri, Behshahr representative in the Parliament, who points out that the deforestation process of the past two decades has caused the northern forest area be reduced from 3,200,000 hectares to 1,090,000 hectares.
According to Shaeri, the Parliament’s Agriculture, Water and Natural Resources Commission suggests that the first step is a reduction in industrial exploitation of the northern forests. This plan proposes that industrial exploitation be reduced by 20 percent each year, being completely terminated in 5 years.
Shaeri also pointed out that an estimated to be 3,000 cubic meters of wood is smuggled out of northern forests each year.
Some experts believe that a 10-year respite period will not be enough for reforestation, and that considering the extent of the deforestation process, this will require a longer planning.