Hitting nature where it hurts: Iran feels the pernicious effects of US sanctions on biodiversity conservation

Walker, Kira

Publisher:  Equal Times
Date Written:  27/02/2019
Year Published:  2019  
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX23557

Iran is home to a rich and complex array of biodiversity. Efforts to protect its biodiversity have been challenged by decades of economic sanctions and political isolation.




What is often absent from discussions on sanctions is the impact they have on the targeted country's environment. Academics working in this area acknowledge that sanctions are not the main cause of Iran's environmental issues, nor do they directly lead to environmental degradation. Rather, sanctions can induce challenges that inadvertently act as "catalysts" for environmental issues within the targeted country, explains Shirin Hakim, a PhD researcher at Imperial College London studying the impact of sanctions on Iran’s environment....

The shift to "survival mode" that is adopted out of necessity under sanctions does not allow for long-term planning, and under such conditions environmental concerns are often forsaken. In what Hakim says is an understudied field in general, even more overlooked is the impact sanctions have on the field of conservation and biodiversity. "Because Iran has a number of crucial environmental issues challenging its future development, such as water scarcity and air pollution, conservation efforts are placed at an even lower priority," she says.

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