TEHRAN (Iran News) – The Department of Environment (DOE) in cooperation with knowledge-based companies detected the volume of wetlands across the country through a combination of aerial photography and satellite images.
Using this type of monitoring, we can identify the changes that occur in the water basin and also around it with very high accuracy and within a detection limit of less than one meter, DOE’s head of marine environment affairs Ahmad Reza Lahijanzadeh said.
These maps are very accurate and is able to extract with new knowledge the encroachments that have been made on the wetland or the changes that have taken place, he explained, adding, a laser device, known as laser scanning, installed under the plane, and measured the depth of the lagoon.
After the laser scanning stage, with the help of knowledge-based companies, we developed a software model and calculated the volume of the wetland; then, drew the whole wetland bed, he stated.
Highlighting that the technology was done for the first time in the country, he noted that there has been not even a similar foreign method.
With the help of this technology, we have calculated and analyzed the volume of Miankaleh wetland, and soon we will analyze the Anzali and Hur al-Azim wetlands; It is expected that this year we will cover about 400,000 hectares of wetlands across the country, he explained.
Wetlands play a major role in protecting the land against floods and the impacts of storms. They provide food and diverse habitats which support genetic, species, and ecosystem biodiversity. Wetlands play a key role in the life cycles of many species and in annual migration patterns.
Unfortunately, wetlands are being degraded and lost due to pollution, overexploitation, climate change, and human population growth. In recognition of these challenges, the Ramsar Convention, an international treaty, was adopted in 1971.
In Iran, 141 wetlands with ecological value with an area of over 3 million hectares have been identified, of which 25 wetlands are designated as wetlands of international importance (registered in the Ramsar Convention) covering more than 1.4 million hectares and four sites are biosphere reserves.
Of Iran’s 25 Ramsar sites about one-third are under pressure or in critical condition.
Chief of the Department of Environment, Issa Kalantari, has said in order to restore wetlands in the country a budget of 600 trillion rials (nearly $14 billion) is required.