In this modern day, we are more driven to the material world, being completely ignorant towards nature, which is surely affecting us in more ways than we can understand. When an animal or plant species goes extinct, the irreplaceable animals and plants are only part of the loss. Animals, plants, people and the environment together constitute an ecosystem in which each part depends on the other for survival. When something is thrown off-balance or eliminated, the entire system suffers.
As of 2001, 20 of Iran’s mammal species and 14 bird species are endangered. At least another 74 species of Iranian wildlife are on the red list of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, a sign of serious threats against the country’s biodiversity. The tigers which once inhabited the forests of the Caspian region, Asiatic lions and the Syrian elephants which used to live in southern parts of the country are already extinct.
Wildlife in Iran includes leopards, bears, hyenas, wild boars, ibex, gazelles, Eurasian lynx and mouflons, which live in the wooded mountains. Jackals and rabbits are common in the country’s interior, as well as panthers, falcons, eagles and many species of aquatic birds. Deer, hedgehogs, foxes and more than 20 species of rodents live in the semi-desert. On the slopes of the mountains a remarkably wide variety of amphibians and reptiles finds their habitat and the Caspian Sea and the Persian Gulf are home to more than 200 species of fish. Next to that more than 2,000 plant species are grown in Iran.
But for how long still? Many species of plants and animals in Iran are endangered. They include amongst others the Iranian cheetah, of which there are only around 50 individuals left in the whole world, the Baluchistan bear, Caspian seal, Persian fallow deer, Siberian white crane, hawksbill and green turtle, Oxus cobra, Latifi’s viper, dugong, Caspian Sea wolf and dolphins.
The large variety of wild animals and plants in Iran and the wild places in which they live are essential in the web of live and have to be maintained for future generations.
That is why Stichting Simba Nature Protection and Education Foundation, an ANBI certified Dutch NGO, is dedicated with heart and soul to being the voice of Iranian nature and wildlife, independent and objective, without preconceptions.
Humans and human activities impose the greatest threat to the survival and well-being of wildlife today.
Land management is a knowledge-based procedure that aims at integrating the management of land, water, biodiversity, wildlife and other environmental resources. It focusses on maintaining species and the diversity of wildlife and plants, improving conditions for declining and endangered species, sustaining and if necessary, repairing existing ecosystems while at the same time meeting human needs. Activities in this field are amongst others surveys of plants and animals, operation and management of wildlife refuges and reservations, monitoring and research of conduct etc.
Land management is about understanding the inevitable connections between human, nature and wildlife, choosing the right measures and managing them in the right way.
As humans develop the world, the risk of conflict between nature, wildlife and people increases. The expansion of agricultural frontiers, habitat fragmentation by roads and buildings and commercialization of wildlife as food, trophies, ornaments, medicine, and pets creates serious threats for the environment.
Examples of people and wildlife conflicts are widely available…
The world’s last surviving, critically endangered Asiatic cheetah of which only about 50 animals are alive today, is constantly threatened. By farmers expanding their cultivated farm lands, hunters on fast motorcycles which hunt their main source of food and of course expansion of roads which cross the large territories the cheetahs need, causing regular accidents between cars and cheetahs.
By scientifically integrating the management of land, water, biodiversity, wildlife and other environmental resources land management looks at the interests of both people and nature and acts on it.
The first step on this path is teaching people that every person, animal and all nature has the right to life and is valuable for this world, which creates respect and appreciation of nature.
But education does not solve anything when the essential and very urgent needs of people are not considered. People need water, food, a healthy income and good standards of living. These needs can be satisfied in two ways, at the expense of nature and wildlife or by considering the needs of nature and wildlife as well and create a better world for everyone.
The choice is not that hard…
Nature and wildlife are the least understood and the most underestimated source of our very existence. And although we depend on it, we continue to destroy and misuse it. Instead of nurturing nature and wildlife, human greed and selfishness is causing irreparable damage.
Solving this problem nowadays became one of the greatest challenges facing humanity, which now has to deal with deforestation, desertification, pollution and climate change, an issue of increasing concern for the international community as a whole.
Environmental degradation increases the vulnerability of the societies it affects and contributes to the scarcity of resources.
By now all of us know the importance of a healthy environment and we should take all the possible measures to keep our environment healthy. One of the most effective means to promote a healthy environment is giving proper education.
Environmental education and protection are crucial for the benefit of both the environment and humans.
Now more than ever, it is essential to teach both children and adults about the importance of nature and wildlife conservation. Developing and nurturing an appreciation of nature is a fundamental element that safeguards the safety of Iranian wildlife and environment and prevents several unique species from extinction.
By teaching people that every person, animal and all nature have the right to life and are valuable for this world, a respect and appreciation of nature is created.
And although they develop their own attitudes, perceptions and philosophies over time, most children reflect the views and priorities of their parents. Few things are therefore as satisfying to see from our sons and daughters, as a blossoming love of nature and wildlife and a desire to protect it.