Workshop on UNESCO-tagged forest held in northern Iran
A workshop has recently been held to introduce local communities and tourists to Iran’s UNESCO-registered Hyrcanian forests (also known as Caspian forests).
The event was held in Rudkhan Castle, a centuries-old military medieval fortress in Fuman, northern Gilan province on Thursday, the provincial tourism chief announced, CHTN reported on Friday. The workshop was intended to increase awareness of the unique characteristics of Hyrcanian forests, the official added. Spanning from the south of Azerbaijan to about 850 km eastward to the provinces of Gilan, Mazandaran, and Golestan, the Hyrcanian forests are witnesses of the ancient forests of the world since they have survived between 35 and 50 million years. According to UNESCO, these forests are between 25 and 50 million years old. Their surface area was reduced during the Quaternary Period’s dramatic climate changes and glaciations and expanded again when the temperatures stabilized. UNESCO has documented the existence of over 3,200 vascular plants and 58 species of mammals, including the iconic Persian panther and endangered wild goat in the forest. Due to its isolation, the areas now protected by UNESCO are home to many endangered and endemic plant species at a regional and local level. In July 2019, the UN cultural body designated the vast woodland as a World Heritage site, making it the second such Iranian natural site after Lut Desert, which was granted the tag in 2016. According to UNESCO, the forest contains the most significant natural habitats for in-situ conservation of biological diversity, including those containing threatened species of outstanding universal value from the point of view of science or conservation. It also contains superlative natural phenomena or areas of exceptional natural beauty and aesthetic importance. Having an opulent tourist circuit with 26 UNESCO World Heritage sites Iran seeks to acquire a greater share of the global tourism industry by 2025.