8/12/2015The Iranian Department of Environment Responds to BBCs Article About Hunting In Iran
DOE--12 Aug, 2015--Following an article BBC published on August 11 regarding the threats hunting poses to the diversity and wildlife in Iran, the Iranian Department of Environment published an statement about the ban of hunting and the halt of hunting gun production. 

After  the installment of the Governement of President Rouhani in 2013, hunting policies in Iran have drastically changed. The Department of Environment currently manages 278 protected areas in Iran many of which had management studies completed during the government of Dr. Khatami. These plans were reinstituted during this era and adopted by local government to secure budget lines and interagency cooperation for biodiversity and wildlife conservation, sustainable management and integration of local communities. 

Since 2014 no hunting license has been issued for trophy or mammals (other than wild boars), for both foreigners and Iranians. Limited licenses based on bio-capacity  have been issued for local communities only for certain species of birds. In those licenses the Department Of Environment sets conditions including the collaboration of the hunter for conservation and protection of the sites against illegal poaching. In addition, the DOE began a nationwide campaign inviting local NGOs and communities to prevent illegal poaching. 

Many NGOs took the lead and "gun breaking " ceremonies were held in several areas including Kurdistan, Kermanshah and Fars to encourage poachers to abandon this practice. The production of hunting guns by the ammunition industry was terminated last year by the direct orders of the Defense Minister. 

During this period DOE rangers have been empowered through a nationwide training course , restoration of their social image has been enhanced by media and social networking campaigns. 

The government has also recently approved the highest possible rank in difficult work conditions for the DOE Rangers thereby enabling higher wages for this group of employees. The  supreme council of environment increased all fines for illegal poaching up to 20 fold last month making illegal poaching a daring choice. Along with a strengthening of monitoring systems ,remote sensing and telecamera networks the rangers now patrol protected areas and wildlife refuges with more efficiency. Although many challenges remain but the new government has taken many important strides in this short time span.
 
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