Is nothing holy anymore? The Iranian Government rubber stamps oil exploration in the country’s most important national park.
The Iranian government has decided to start an oil exploration project in a national park in Kavir National Park in the Semnan province, south east of Tehran.
The opponents of the project, from the Iranian Environmental Organization, which is a governmental institution, and also environmental activists, have had debates with the advocates, who are the governmental authorities like the Ministry of Oil heads.
Kavir National Park is one of the most important, or we could say, the most important national park of Iran. It consists of 430,000 hectares (1,500 square miles) of natural landscapes with high levels of animal and plant diversity. Known as “Little Africa” it is home to native goats, sheep, hyenas, wolves, gazelles, the rare Asiatic Cheetah, and the Persian Leopard. It contains mountains, deserts and a salt lake at its boundary.
Oil exploration in Little Africa?
The government is insisting on starting the oil exploration project while according to the Iranian Environmental Preservation Law, any types of construction in national parks are forbidden.
However the government is confirming an allowance for starting this unlawful industrial and construction activity.
The opponents say the oil exploration project will cause environmental pollutions in the park.
It is expected that the oiling activities like exploration, digging oil wells 2,000 to 3,000 meters deep, building saturation pools, oil processing, piping, and the traffic of heavy trucks in the park will cause heavy environmental pollution in a region that is supposed to be protected.
Neglecting the environment has been experienced in the governmental activities during the past years. The results have been seen in the polluted oil and gas fields like Assalouyeh gas field in south of Iran, polluted natural landscapes and mountains, air-polluted cities, and more. Maybe the government and the parliament should be more sensitive about the environment.
It seems that it is not too late for saving Kavir National Park. Although maybe the people of Semnan province and their representatives seem to be interested to the oil project in hope of having better job horizon, but the debate of the opponents has had great results in the media.
Read more about pollution in Iran:
Image via Hemad