Kopet Dag added to UNESCO’s World Network of Biosphere Reserves

From Tehran Times: Kopet Dag is a protected area stretching over 18,000 hectares of land area and is filled with thick forests and variety of plant and animal species.

The biosphere reserve covers part of the Kopet Dag mountain range, along Iran’s border with Turkmenistan. The ecological region of Kopet Dag is an important part of the Irano-Anatolian biodiversity hotspot, whose primary function is the conservation of many of the endangered species in this area. The main economic activities are agriculture and livestock, according to UNESCO website.

Over 80 percent of the region is located in Iran, Asghar Motahhari said, noting that by receiving UNESCO recognition different projects implemented in the area can garner international support.

Motahhari highlighted that as involvement of local communities in management of biosphere reserves in order to make them less dependent on natural resources is a characteristics of UNESCO biosphere reserves, over the first phase Iran will also endeavor to focus on locals’ capacity building to decrease human-environment conflict along with providing the local with livelihood.

Festivities to celebrate the UNESCO recognition for Kopet Dag will be held in the first half of the [Iranian calendar] month of Shahrivar (August 22 to September 22), he said, IRNA news agency reported.

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