Friday, November 20, 2015

Supreme Leader Submits General Policies for the Environment

General Policies are high level strategies formulated by experts in the Expediency Council, adopted in that council and endorsed by the Supreme Leader. We were working with the Council for the past year to define the outlines and content of the major policies we need for the environment in Iran. These general policies will enable us to strengthen cross sectoral cooperation and to engage the judiciary, legislative and even armed forces to engage in implementation of environmental policies. The stategic mandate given in this directive also addresses social participation and the civil society which could be instumental for a social campaign to change current mentality and lifestyles particulaly in consumption patterns of water and energy. In addition  the emphasis on greening of the economy and supporting green technologies will give us strong incentives for investment and growth. The need to mitigate greenhouse gases and confront the detrimental effects of climate change is clearly mentioned as well.  The clear focus on environmental diplomacy is also important given the regional role with our neighbours and with the wider international community that we need to persue. The General Policies have given us a strong support in promoting the environmental agenda led by President Rouhani in the current government. These policies have also given a strong signal of committment and cooperation at the international level at the onset of COP21 negotiations on the new climate agreement. 
Iran will have an important role, as an influential and committed regional and global player, for promoting peace and environmental protection for our home, planet earth. 


Expand green economy, administer justice and raise awareness of the environment

In a letter to the heads of the three branches of government, Ayatollah Khamenei, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, announced the general policies on the environment on the basis of the first clause in Article 110 of the Constitution. 

The following is the full text of these policies issued on November 17, 2015.

In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

General Policies on the Environment:
1.    Comprehensive, harmonious and organized management of vital resources (including the air, water, soil and environmental diversity) based on ecological capability and sustainability particularly by increasing capacities and appropriate legal and structural capabilities accompanied by public participation.
2.    Establishing a cohesive and national system on the issue of the environment.

3.    Improving environmental conditions with the purpose of helping society enjoy a healthy environment, administering justice and observing intra-generational rights.

4.    Preventing and prohibiting the circulation of all kinds of unlawful pollutants, recording crimes related to the environment, administering efficient and preventive punishment of polluters and destroyers of the environment and forcing them to compensate for their actions.
5.    Continuous refinement and control of air, water, soil and noise pollutants, destructive waves and rays and unfavorable climatic changes, and making compulsory the observation of environmental standards and criteria in implementing rules and regulations, development plans and spatial planning.

6.    Preparing an environmental atlas of the country and protecting, reviving, optimizing and developing renewable natural resources (such as seas, lakes, rivers, dam reservoirs, wetlands, aquifers, forests, soil, grasslands and environmental diversity particularly of wildlife), imposing legal restrictions on using these resources in line with their ecologic capability (their sustainability and resilience capabilities) on the basis of sustainability standards and criteria, the management of sensitive and valuable ecosystems (including national parks and other national environmental heritage), preserving genetic resources and developing and improving them at the level of international standards.

7.    Managing climatic changes, confronting environmental threats such as desertification, dust particles, drought and microbial and radioactive transmitters, promoting foresight and identifying and managing new environmental phenomena. 

8.    Expanding the green economy by emphasizing:

8.1. Low-carbon industries, the use of clean sources of energy and healthy agricultural and organic products, the management of waste and wastewater by optimizing economic, social, natural and environmental capacities and resources.

8.2.    The reformation of production patterns in different economic and social areas, the improvement of consumption patterns of water, various resources and materials, food and energy sources particularly through promoting those fuel sources that are in harmony with the environment.

8.3.    The promotion of green and non-fossil modes of public transportation such as electric modes and an increase in public transportation particularly in large cities.

9.    Balancing and preserving, in an optimal way, groundwater through watershed and aquifer management, managing elements that reduce groundwater utilization and evaporation and preventing the entrance of pollutants.

10.    Establishing an environmental auditing system in the country by considering environmental values and costs (destruction, pollution and revival) in national accounting.

11.    Supporting and encouraging investments and technologies that are compatible with the environment by using proper means including green taxes.

12.    Preparing an environmental behavior chart and promoting and establishing environmental behavior and culture based on constructive Iranian-Islamic values and patterns.

13.    Improving studies and scientific research, utilizing new environmental technologies, benefiting from constructive domestic experiences in the area of preserving the balance of ecosystems, and preventing the environment from being polluted and destroyed.

14.    Raising and strengthening societial awareness, knowledge and outlook about the environment, and strengthening religious culture and teachings related to social responsiblty particularly through enjoining to do good and forbidding evil with the purpose of preserving the environment at all levels of society. 

15.    Strengthening environmental diplomacy through:

15.1. Efforts to create and strengthen regional organizations with the responsibility of confronting dust particles and water pollution.
15.2. Strengthening relations and encouraging purposeful and efficient cooperation – bilateral, multilateral, regional and international cooperation – in the area of the environment.

15.3. Making efficient use of international opportunities and incentives in moving towards a low-carbon economy and facilitating the transport and development of relevant technologies and innovations.