0244 GMT July 23, 2019
The balance, however, is only achieved when these main components are placed next to each other in a proper order and live in favorable conditions, qualitatively as well as quantitatively.
The world is currently grappling with certain environmental challenges including air, water and soil pollutions — caused by the promotion of urbanization and development of industries — global warming, destruction of the earth's biodiversity as well as the fall in the number of animal and plant species and demolition of jungles, grasslands, wetlands and, in general, natural resources.
The Department of Environment (DOE) is responsible for preserving and protecting the environment in Iran. Despite the organization's considerable efforts, the number of environmental problems is on the rise in the world and in Iran.
Commenting on environmental issues in an exclusive interview with Iran Daily, Masoumeh Ebtekar, the DOE's head, said a number of environmental trends have been identified globally which have emerged in all countries, such as climatic changes.
The human being is chiefly held responsible for the alteration in the climate, she added.
"Consumption of fossil fuels and emission of greenhouse gases are to blame for the rise in the temperature of the earth and climatic changes which have led to natural disasters such as storms, floods and drought," said Ebtekar.
Over the past few years, she said, drought has intensified in Iran, adding that the same thing holds true in other neighboring and regional countries.
"Addressing the water shortage and protecting the environment are among the main priorities of the Rouhani administration. At present, saving Lake Orumieh from drought is the administration’s top priority."
Ebtekar stressed that Iran has an active presence in international arena in the field of preserving the environment and has played a very significant role in working out the Paris Agreement — an agreement within the framework of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) dealing with the mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions, adaptation and finance, starting in the year 2020.
Commenting on Iran's persistent haze, she said the dust storms causing the phenomenon in Iran are blown in from regional countries such as Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Syria.
"We have signed several MoUs with Iraq for stabilizing the country's soil."
Iran is a flag-bearer in desert greening and fighting haze, she noted.
"In 2013 we were faced with dire climatic condition in Iran. There was a high percentage of benzene in the air of metropolises. Benzene is highly carcinogenic. Earlier, a number of joint committees were set up by Tehran's Municipality and the ministries of industry, mine and trade as well as energy. Although they had become inactive, we reactivated them. Eliminating polluted gasoline from the country's energy and fuel cycle was among the initial measures of the present government."
She expressed satisfaction over the favorable cooperation of domestic organizations and institutions with the DOE.
"All Iranians are responsible for protecting the environment," said Ebtekar.