Massoumeh Ebtekar, the head of Iran’s Department of the Environment, announced that construction has been halted on a controversial road in Abr Forest in Shahrood, and a plan to protect the forest is underway.

The Mehr News Agency reports that at a press conference in Semnan, Ebtekar applauded the media for its role in informing the public about the "importance of the forest" as well as grassroots organizations for their efforts to protect the forest.

Ebtekar added that the conservation plan must be developed in collaboration with Golestan Province, and a final plan will be presented to the Supreme Council of the Environment by the end of the year.

Environmental activists had gathered on several occasions in front of the bulldozers to stop construction in Abr Forest.