According to the social reporter of rahnam news agency, Dr. Asghar Abdoli; A member of the Faculty of Environmental Sciences of Shahid Beheshti University, in a meeting at the Faculty of Natural Resources of Tehran University on the topic of examining the challenges and opportunities of dedicated hunting grounds and hunting in these hunting grounds, said: Ms. Samieh Rafiei, as the head of the environmental faction of the Islamic Council, emphasizes that the efforts of Environment Organization is to be respected for preserving the biodiversity of the country. There are very good and committed experts and managers in this organization, but there are also problems. I salute the pure souls of more than 150 martyred environmentalists who died to protect the environment and wildlife of this country.
The adviser of the environment faction of the parliament stated: I am one of the critics of the dedicated Qarghs. Unfortunately, criticism is not very welcome in our country, and sometimes the critic and his criticism are called the enemy, but my view of Qarq is based on the interests of the country. Qarghs have been established in many countries of the world hundreds of years ago under the name of private protected areas. The function of Qarq is fishing, research, nature tourism, hunting and removal of non-native species, which means that Qarq’s function is not one-dimensional to say that only hunting is involved. In trophy hunting, only large males are hunted, which in itself is a great detriment to the population.
A member of the Faculty of Environmental Sciences Research Institute of Shahid Beheshti University said: “However, in the discussion of hunting that has been raised by the Environmental Protection Organization, only hunting is discussed!” The discussion of entrepreneurship and environmental students going to work is very good, but it should be done in the right way, including ecotourism, wildlife watching, and wildlife photography, and not only through trophy hunting, which has been proven in many parts of the world with a management. Incorrect has caused the destruction and extinction of the species.
Stating that more than 412 articles have been written in the world about various aspects of Qarq, Abdoli clarified: The draft of the new hunting and fishing law is under the title of protection and sustainable exploitation of wildlife. Throwing in words like participation and sustainable exploitation is a play on words and is not going to change anything. Based on the text of this draft, it is mentioned that we (Environmental Protection Organization) want to start a private, cooperative and indigenous reserve, private reserves and native and local reserves will be established outside the boundaries of the four regions. Collaborative protected areas can also be determined within the boundaries of the four regions.
He added: Note 3 contains one of the articles of this draft “The main goal of creating each of the above areas is to protect and manage wildlife within their limits, and if, as determined by the organization and in accordance with the criteria approved by the Supreme Council of the subject of the above article, the population of species that can be hunted and caught in them reaches a level that is capable of exploitation Every year, the organization issues instructions for their use.” You must know that exploitation also means hunting!
The adviser of the environmental faction of the Islamic Parliament explained: This note means that we want to hunt even in national parks and protected areas! Qarq is good, but not in this way and not in a way to bring Qarq to our national parks! Probably, the first goal is to hunt Orial ram in Golestan National Park!
In my opinion, ecology is an important part of hunting and fishing, but economic, social, political, jurisprudential, legal, military, etc. discussions are also discussed in this. The issue of hunting has even raised the voice of the authorities and we should listen to them. Hunting has become a national issue and can be seen in the media.
Abdoli stated that hunting and fishing is one of the issues that the Environmental Protection Organization can be in charge of alone and to the same extent it should be responsible for all the policies and problems of this sector. And monitoring it is the responsibility of the organization itself. I criticized the flood management instructions and the officials of the Environmental Protection Organization said that this instruction has been canceled. Based on this instruction, which has been invalidated, they say that if the population growth is 10%, we can take advantage of it! I don’t know where this 10 percent came from?! While there is no such thing in any of the scientific texts.
He continued: They say that we give the exploitation of 30% of the species to the native communities, but again the question arises that this number of 30% was obtained based on which economic and social study. In this instruction, the minimum distance between Qarq and national parks is 30 kilometers and 12 kilometers with other managed areas; My question is, what are these numbers based on? The minimum area is 5 thousand hectares.
A member of the Faculty of Environmental Sciences of Shahid Beheshti University stated: In any case, the Environmental Protection Organization has announced that this directive has been invalidated, and now they have issued another directive in which these numbers and figures have been removed, which of course they say that this has also been invalidated. . Now the question is, how are the Qarghs managed without instructions? How are hunting permits issued in them? How was it supposed to add another 23 Qarghs with an area of about one million and 400 hundred thousand hectares in 1400? Fortunately, this item is now out of the agenda of the Supreme Council of Environment.
The adviser of the Parliament’s environmental faction said: “Unfortunately, hunting is the basis of hunting, and we can do it at all.” Let’s call it a hunting ground instead of Qurq! In many guidelines of international environmental protection organizations, it has been emphasized that the first function of the gorge is protection and then exploitation, but our gorges are only based on hunting, so we should call it a hunting ground.
Abdoli pointed out that Qarq exists in other countries as well, and stated: It is good to bring a model of protection from the other side of the world to Iran, but only on the condition that we also fulfill its requirements. The carrying capacity of the habitat is the first step, but this study has not been done. The appropriate age for harvesting from the population has not been seen and there is no such thing. In this preliminary directive of the environmental organization, there is also a technical committee, but its members are only from the organization, and academicians, semens, hunters, fishermen, etc. are not seen in it. Performance evaluation of these devices should be done outside the organization.
He stated: When we check the organization’s data from districts such as Aliabad, Chehlgezi or Mansourabad, etc., we see that in some of them there has been no increase in population and even a decrease in population, but in the same years when the population decreased. They have given hunting license again! In Qarq Mansoorabad, the total goat population has increased from zero to 14 in 1390 and from 14 to 100 in the following year, but the question is, how did this happen? Undoubtedly, this deer is connected to the surrounding protected areas and the animals came to this deer for security and food. Of course, the interesting thing is that the population of this species remained around 100 heads until 2018, but hunting permits are still issued every year!
The adviser of the environmental faction of the Islamic Council emphasized: In the conclusion that the Environmental Protection Organization through the Research Institute of Environment and Sustainable Development has evaluated the Qarq, it is stated that “the function of multi-faceted use of Qarq is not mentioned in the instructions for the operation of Qarq sites and only hunting in Qarq is mentioned, so when I say Qarq only Hunting is not only my words, but also the words of the organization itself! With the same statistics that we got from the organization, Article 7 of the directive says that the issuance of hunting and exploitation licenses in the Qarq should be at least two years after the Qarq was handed over.
Abdoli said: “The wild animals that are hunted are deer, rams, sheep, camels and goats, all of which are among the protected species of the Environmental Protection Organization. How is it now that we give permission to hunt for protected species in the wild! This is a concrete example of violating our own rules. All this talk about hunting income, while according to the report given by the environmental organization to the parliament, The income deposited into the National Environment Fund account for 170 quadruped hunting licenses issued to foreign and domestic hunters in 2017 and 2018 was equivalent to 162 million Tomans! It means less than one million tomans for each deer, deer or ram hunting license!
Citing an example of catching red spotted salmon, he noted: this fish has a very good habitat in Lar National Park. In the years 1375 to 1387, an average of 12,000 fishing permits were issued for this fish every year, and these permits were issued for each day and every fishing period without restrictions. In some years, 5,000 and in other years 22,000 fishing permits. It was issued! And each fisherman could catch 5 fish per day for each butterfly. When the number of this fish decreased due to overfishing, they said that the fishermen were unhappy because of the decrease in fish. I calculated the catch per unit of effort there and found that on average each licensed fisherman catches 1.3 to 1.4 fish per day, which if we multiply by 12,000 licenses Every year, nearly 16-17 thousand red spotted salmon were caught only from Lar National Park!
The adviser of the environmental faction of the Islamic Council emphasized: It is interesting that about 70% of the fish caught from the Lar dam lake in the Lar National Park were female, which caused serious damage to the population of this endangered species! Fortunately, after these researches and the recommendations that I gave to the then head of the Environmental Organization, it has been 10 years since Lar National Park no longer permits fishing for red spotted salmon. We all know that basically the philosophy of national parks is to preserve the environment in completely natural conditions as a support for preserving biodiversity, restoring destroyed habitats and destroyed wildlife of other habitats and research related to the environment, and certainly the first and last priority is conservation.
A member of the Faculty of Environmental Sciences Research Institute of Shahid Beheshti University said: As a critic of Qarq, I supported a Qarq for 10 years to be an alternative to catching fish from Lar National Park. Someone came from the private sector, protected a section of a river, gave fishermen permission to fish on the condition that they catch and remove non-native rainbow trout from the environment, but release them again if they catch red speckled trout on their hook. This river had been able to attract about 1700 fishermen with hooks every year, while also employing several people in the protection of the area, the non-native species of the rainbow decreased and the native red spot found a good population.
Abdoli continued: Recently, the owner of this place came to me and said that he wants to build an educational and research center, and I welcomed him, but I asked where do you want to build it? I saw that they dried up a part of the river and they want to build that center! After this incident, I was shocked and it was a big shock for me and I saw with my own eyes where the work of the ghouls will end up! In fact, the owner of this scam destroyed the result of 10 years of protection and trust of academics and environmental protection organization! These are the harms of Qarghs, you should pay attention to them. Khabar National Park is another example; I heard that they gave it to the private sector and fenced for kilometers around it! Where in the world do they separate the national park from other areas with a fence?
He noted: Our information about wildlife Capacity Ecosystem range, population estimation, population structure, etc. are very limited. We manage the country’s wildlife based on movement in total darkness, which is a cause for concern. I was really worried when I saw the draft of the new law on hunting and fishing, and I hope that this issue will come to a good end. Sustainable exploitation of wildlife is good, but killing these endangered animals (supported by the Environment Agency) is not sustainable exploitation. Sustainable exploitation is an important issue, but with the right method and scientific principles of wildlife management.
At the end, Abdoli addressed the point that what organizations and people are responsible for the current situation? First, the Environmental Protection Organization, despite repeated criticisms, they were still not convinced! Second, academics who do not express their points of view sufficiently; Scientific criticism is very necessary and vital for the country’s environment at this critical time, academics should lead the environmental organization and not confirm what the environmental organization said! Third, fishermen and hunters who do not have scientific and correct demands and only want to hunt at any cost! Fourth, regulatory agencies should be more active.
He pointed out: The scientific and academic community, along with those interested in the country’s nature and biodiversity, with the help of regulatory organizations and the media, should hold the Environmental Protection Organization accountable for managing the country’s wildlife while guiding them in the right direction. We all know that the lives of the country’s wildlife are numbered, we have to make a new plan.
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