Project full description

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15 July 2003


Project Number:

PIMS 980


Conservation of Iranian Wetlands


7 years

Implementing Agency:

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Executing Agency:

Department of Environment

Requesting Country:

Islamic Republic of Iran

GEF Focal Area:


Operational Programme:

OP 2: Coastal, Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems

Strategic Priority:

SP 1: Strengthening Protected Area Systems (and some relevance to SP 2)


The project’s goal is to catalyse the sustainability of Iran’s system of wetland protected areas (WPAs), thereby enhancing its effectiveness as a tool for conserving globally significant biodiversity. The project’s objective is to systematically remove or substantially mitigate threats facing globally significant biodiversity and sustainability at two demonstration sites, while ensuring that the lessons learned through these demonstrations are absorbed within wetland protected area (WPA) management systems throughout Iran and most particularly at a set of target replication sites. Given that a range of similar threats, root causes and barriers face protected wetlands across Iran – particularly the tendency for key threats to originate within a wider watershed area outside of WPA boundaries – a demonstration of their removal will be of broad relevance and potential replicability.

The project will place substantial emphasis on demonstrating approaches to conservation, sustainable use and threat removal/mitigation at WPAs within the Lake Uromiyeh Ecological Zone (LUEZ). LUEZ, part of the Lake Uromiyeh Basin (LUB), includes Lake Uromiyeh itself, a c. 5,000 km2 hypersaline lake and National Park in the highlands of northwestern Iran, together with various ecologically connected and smaller wetlands of international importance. Further support will go towards ensuring conservation and sustainable use of Lake Parishan, which is located within Arjan Protected Area in Shiraz Province in southern Iran. Finally, GEF support will ensure that lessons learned at project demonstration sites will flow through the wetland management system, thereby positively influencing management at WPAs throughout Iran.


Project Brief




Block-B Preparatory Funding


Sub-total GEF:




Grant/Cash (Full Project)

In-kind support

(Full Project)

In-kind support (PDF B)


Government (PDF-B)


Government (IBRD-financed) (Irrigation Improvement Project – Environment Component) (PDF-B)








$ 9,715,000



Sub-total co-financing: US$10,320,000

Total Project Cost

(excluding Block A & B preparation cost): US$12,935,000

(including Block A & B preparation cost): US$13,607,400

Associated Financing : Government investments in wastewater collection and treatment and erosion control: estimated at US$ 40 million
GEF Focal Point Endorsement:

Name: Mr. Bozorgmehr Ziaran, Director General, International Economic and Specialised Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Date: 18 June 2003

Implementing Agency Contact:

Tehmina Akhtar, Regional Co-ordinator, Biodiversity & International Waters, UNDP-GEF, Tel: (212) 906-5460; Fax: (212) 906-6998.


List of acronyms

CBD Convention on Biological Diversity

DoE Department of Environment

EC-IIP Environment Component – Irrigation Improvement Project

EIA Environmental Impact Assessment

EHC Environmental High Council

GEF Global Environment Facility

IBA Important Bird Area

IIP Irrigation Improvement Project

LUB Lake Uromiyeh Basin

LUBMA Lake Uromiyeh Basin Management Authority

LUEZ Lake Uromiyeh Ecological Zone

MFA Ministry of Foreign Affairs

MoAJ Ministry of Agricultural Jihad

MoRT Ministry of Roads and Transportation

MPO Management & Planning Organization

NBSAP National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan

NGO Non-governmental Organisation

UNDP United Nations Development Programme

WPA Wetland Protected Area

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