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Iran, Iraq to fight sandstorms

Sun, 17 Apr 2011 14:27:21 GMT
Iran's Environment Protection Organization (IEPO) says the country will sign a contract with Iraqi environment officials to fight desertification and sandstorms.

“Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Jordan have taken some measures to fight sandstorms in Iran, and the most recent decision is a mutual contract between Iran and Iraq for Iranian experts to mulch the neighboring country's desert lands,” IEPO Deputy Head Ali-Mohammad Shaeri told IRNA on Sunday.

“Iranian experts have produced a type of biological mulch that will not damage the environment,” he added.

Sandstorms can be caused by heavy winds blowing across deserts, or across land that has lost its fertile top soil and greenery. Experts believe planting trees and mulching can help reduce and fight the phenomenon which has hit some Iranian regions over the past years.

The dust blowing in from Saudi Arabia and neighboring Iraq has closed government offices and schools and canceled domestic airline flights in Iran in some cases.

Mulching operations will start from a 200- to 300-hectare area in Iraq's Al Anbar Province, which is believed to be the main source of sandstorms happening in Iran.

Shaeri also said that Iran is the region's most successful country in de-desertization, and the mulching program will continue in Iraq if the initial stage proves to be effective.

TE/HGH

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