The deputy head of Iran’s Land and Forest Conservation says seven million square metres of forest and rangeland bushes are being consumed annually to provide heat for Iranians living in villages and rural areas near forests and he called for alternative fuel options to be made available in the affected region in order to conserve natural resources.
Massoud Mansouri told IRNA that the use of lumber from these forests for heating purposes has become a threat to conservation efforts in the region, adding that an estimated 11 to 18 milliom hectares of forest have been lost through this process.
As an example, Mansouri said a village of 70 households in Chahar Mahal Bakhtiyari uses 1,562 square metres of trees for heating purposes each month.
He stressed that the Ministry of Oil has to step in to provide alternative fuel for these regions in order to assist in meeting forest conservation goals. He added that his office has provided the Oil Ministry with a list of the areas in immediate need of attention.
Mansouri said the use of renewable energy in the region such as solar and wind power could also be a good alternative.