Iran, France Discuss Environmental Partnership

Masoumeh Ebtekar, Iran’s vice president and head of the Environmental Protection Organization, and France’s ecology minister discussed environmental partnerships between the two countries during a meeting in Tehran.

Ebtekar and Segolene Royal reached an agreement on several joint projects in the fields of energy, water shortages and pollution during the meeting held in the Iranian capital on Sunday, AFP reported.

The French minister visited Tehran on Ebtekar’s invitation.

Royal was on a three-day visit to Iran and was accompanied by senior business figures from environmental and renewable energy firms specializing in water, pollution and energy efficiency.

She left Tehran for Paris on Monday after visiting the endangered Lake Oroumiyeh [Lake Urmia] in northwest of the country.

As Lake Oroumiyeh is shrinking and deserts of salt expanding, Iranian officials are trying to find ways to avert an imminent disaster and to stop the salt lake from drying up.

One of the largest salt lakes in the world and classified as a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO, Lake Oroumiyeh has lost more than 60 percent of its surface over the last two decades due to drought and the damming of rivers feeding it.

The disappearance of the lake could leave behind billions of tons of salt which in turn displace millions of people and endanger the ecosystem of all surrounding areas, whose economy relies on agriculture and tourism.

(Source: Tasnim, under Creative Commons licence)

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