The head of Iran’s Department of Environmental Protection, who has travelled to Japan to establish an environmental partnership between the two countries, says Iran’s biggest environmental challenge is the decline in water resources.

Massoumeh Ebtekar visited the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) during a trip that began on April 1. She spoke about soil erosion as another problem facing Iran’s environmental protection efforts, exacerbated by desertification, overgrazing, deforestation and the inadequate use of pesticides.

She expressed hope that strengthening the cooperation between the two countries would lead to effective and desirable outcomes for both sides.

She stressed that Iran could take advantage of Japan’s experience in combating dust particles and creating air-quality monitoring and warning networks.

Iran and Japan have a history of collaborating on plans to decrease air pollution and also to protect wetlands.

In December, Iranian officials and Japan’s JICA signed the final draft of the implementation of the second phase of the Anzali Wetland Ecological Management Project.