Sixty organizations active in the fields of cultural heritage and the environment have written a letter to president-elect Hassan Rohani with recommendations for leadership of the Cultural Heritage and Tourism and Environmental Protection Organizations.
The Sabz Press website reports that the letter recommends Mehdi Hojat as the head of Cultural Heritage and Massoumeh Ebtekar for leadership of the Environmental Protection Organization.
Mohdi Hojat is a faculty member at Tehran University with a graduate degree in architecture and the protection of historic buildings. He was also elected as a city councillor in the recent elections.
Massoumeh Ebtekar is a veteran city councillor who was disqualified from the last municipal election, when a majority of reformists were dropped from the list of candidates because of their affiliations.
The letter indicates that in the past eight years the country’s cultural heritage has suffered grave damage, some of it irreparable.
The signatories have also urged president-elect Hassan Rohani to recognize how the country’s environment is “under serious threat”, listing “the destruction of the unique Hircanian forests and Zagros Oak Forests and the neglect of rivers, lakes and conservation areas.”
The letter warns Rohani about the critical situation of Lake Oroumiyeh and urges him to halt “the unregulated and destructive dam-building” in the region.
Environmental experts have been seriously concerned in the past few years about the rapid drying of Iran’s largest inland body of water, Lake Oroumiyeh, and many have blamed the Ahmadinejad administration for its neglect of the problems facing the lake.