“Japan buries three percent of its waste and recycles and composts the remaining part. We produce and non-standardly bury 58,000 tons of waste,” said the President of Studies and Development of Environment, Water, and Agriculture think tank Saber Baghkhanipour in an interview with the semiofficial ISNA news agency on May 27.
“Only ten percent of this volume of waste is recycled. In the case of water, out of 5 billion cubic meters that is circulated industrial and potable cycles, 1.2 billion cubic meters of water are recycled,” he added.
A stable progress in any field needs wholesome infrastructure. However, officials in Iran look at the environment as a fantasy and money-winning issue. Such insight has destoryed any initiative to promote natural resources in Iran.
“In the environment field, we have two hyper challenges in territory and land-use planning. Territory of environment and water is intertwined but there is a problem with this issue regarding the current structure and officials’ opinion,” Baghkhanipour said.
Regarding the environmental catastrophes and mismanagement, the expert also points to another flaw in Iran. There is no integrated organization, which covers all parts of this critical object. Scattered offices and institutes, in reality, pursue to ensure their territories in the best condition. In other words, they prioritize their own organization’s interests in comparison to the entire natural resources.
“Current management is sprinkled. One organization is responsible for the air, one for land-use planning, one for agricultural lands, etc. This issue needs to be reviewed because we need an integrated organization to resolve dilemmas,” Baghkhanipour added.
Unequal Distribution of Population Density in Iran
Furthermore, the population density has not been distributed equally. For instance, the population density in Tehran experiences a growing rate, which is considered a failure due to keeping unresolved environmental problems like sewage, residue, harms to the environment, and slum areas to the table.
The environmental expert also blamed officials for failing to manage the population. “Out of 15 populous cities around the world, 11 cities are in coastal areas. However, the most underprivileged cities are coastal cities in Iran, and the relevant official has ignored this potential,” Baghkhanipour explained.
Meanwhile, he counted the country’s capabilities including strategic position, energy resources, human resources, and mineral reserves, highlighting officials’ mismanagement to exploit natural resources in favor of citizens. “There are energy resources in western parts of the country, and we have mines in eastern parts. However, these mines have been abandoned. If the maps of reserved mines were specified, they would provide massive assets for managing society,” the expert added.
Various Administrations Toying with Environment Organization
Baghkhanipour recounted the horrible effects of a state-run environment organization, believing “the environment management should be separated from the administration’s structure.”
“It needs comprehensive discussions over this organizations’ structure. There should be an organization beyond the ministries. The decision-making structure is one of our main challenges with the Islamic Republic,” he added.
Indeed, like many complicated dilemmas in Iran, the environmental problems go to the monopolized and isolated system ruling the country. In other words, the leaders only care about their own advantages and pursue lining their pockets with national assets.
In such circumstances, underprivileged citizens, who are struggling with enormous difficulties in almost all aspects, see no path to achieve their inherent rights and benefit from fundamental services through ongoing protests and anti-establishment activities. Theis harmful experience has proven that both reformists or principalists have failed to do anything in their favor other than rubbing salt on their wounds.