The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s World Heritage Committee inscribed Iran’s Hyrcanian forests on the organization’s World Heritage List during its meeting in Baku on July 5.
Hyrcanian forests cover five provinces, stretching east to west along the southern border of the Caspian Sea, covering the provinces of North Khorasan, Golestan, Mazandaran, Gilan, and Ardabil. The history of these broad-leaved forests dates back 25 to 50 million years, when they covered most of this northern temperate region.
Its biological diversity is of economic and social value. In fact, 44% of the vascular plants known in Iran are found in the Hyrcanian region, which only covers 7% of the country. To date, 180 species of birds typical of broad-leaved temperate forests and 58 mammal species have been recorded, including the iconic Persian Leopard.
Ali Asghar Mounesan, head of Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization, welcomed the measure calling it a supportive move towards saving Iran’s natural resources.