TEHRAN – Natural hazards caused by climate change such as floods, droughts and water shortages have made the relief organizations, including the Iranian Red Crescent Society (IRCS), to undergone changes.
Climatic changes have changed the strategy of the Iranian Red Crescent Society in responding to disasters and formed a new plan.
According to the statistics, weather accidents have increased by 51 percent in the first 6 months of this year (began on March 21), in other words, the consecutive out-of-season flooding is increasing. While the aid workers are continuously involved in providing relief to the people suffering from drought and water stress in the south and center of Iran.
Mehdi Valipour, head of the IRCS rescue organization, said in an interview with IRNA that Iran is among the top 10 countries that have experienced the greatest impact from climate change, adding that Iran has suffered the most in the region; Therefore, we need serious attention and planning to reduce these damages.
Referring to a five-year plan prepared to reduce the damages caused by climate change, he said that this summer’s flood showed that climate change if it is not paid attention to, can cause a lot of financial and human losses to the country.
Valipour went on to state that reducing and preventing the consequences of climate change damages requires new facilities and funds in addition to renovation and new equipment, adding that training of sufficient skills and knowledge to properly deal with these injuries is one of the other components of this five-year program.
In order to make this program operational, we are consulting with various institutions, including the Plan and Budget Organization, the government, and the Majlis [Iranian Parliament], he concluded.
Throughout history, mankind has always struggled with natural disasters, which are exacerbating over time.
The Iranian plateau, with its location between two vast expanses of water as well as the intersection of the Eurasian plateau and Saudi Arabia, has always been exposed to numerous natural hazards and disasters.
Earthquake, as one of the main natural challenges, occasionally becomes the uninvited guest of Iranian homes. On the other hand, the existence of important rivers and water reservoirs in the country has also increased flood risk. About 2 percent of the earthquakes in the world occur in Iran but more than 6% of the victims of the world earthquakes during the 20th century is reported from Iranian earthquakes.
According to UN surveys this year, the main natural disasters listed for Iran are drought, floods, and earthquakes. Subsidence is also a phenomenon that has emerged as one of the consequences of drought along with the aforementioned three challenges.
According to estimates, 16.4 tons of soil erodes in Iran per hectare, which is more than three times the global average. A total of 2 billion tons of soil erosion occurs in Iran annually, and the volume has been on the rise in recent years due to heavy floods.
Each ton of soil is valued at $28 in terms of metal ores, so the loss of two billion tons of soil annually means an annual loss of $56 billion, which is more than revenues from the sale of oil and agricultural products, gardens, livestock, poultry, and fisheries.
Meanwhile, according to the Standardized Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI), 11 percent of Iranians are affected by mild drought, 21.5 percent of whom also are under pressure of moderate drought; while severe drought is exerting pressure on 32.5 percent of the people.
The country has been repeatedly exposed to sand and dust storms due to its presence in the arid and semi-arid part of the world, so in 2006-2007, the dust storms originating in Iraq and Syria affected Iran, haunting a wide area of the country so that it reached the central areas and southern slopes of Alborz and also included Tehran.
Air pollution is responsible for around 40,000 premature deaths in Iran annually, Mohammad-Sadeq Hassanvand, head of the air pollution research center at Tehran University of Medical Sciences, has said.
Between 4,000 and 5,000 people residing in the capital city of Tehran lose their lives per year due to air pollution, according to statistics published by the ministry of health in 2019.
Abdolreza Daneshvar Amoli, an official with the Iranian Biological Resource Center affiliated with the Academic Center for Education, Culture, and Research (ACECR) said in 2019 that 150 species of animals in Iran are on the verge of extinction.
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