12 June 2010 - UNDP and the Government of Iran Pledge Further to Save the Asiatic Cheetah
The UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in the Islamic Republic of Iran (I.R.I), Ms. Consuelo Vidal and Vice President and Head of the Iranian Department of Environment, Mr. Mohammad-Javad Mohammadizadeh jointly signed the project document for the Conservation of the Asiatic Cheetah and Its Habitats at DOE on Saturday 12 June 2010, which marked the last day of the Environment Week in the and on the last day of the Environment Week in Iran. With a fund of US$ 4 million, the second phase of the Asiatic Cheetah Conservation Project and Its Habitats (ACCPH) sets research and scientific monitoring, enhanced protection and awareness raising and education among local communities as its priority objectives. United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Iran and International organizations will contribute US$ 500,000 and the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran will allocate a sum of US$ 3 million to the second phase of the Project, the activities of which have been anticipated to be carried out in the next two years time.
On the sidelines of the signing ceremony at the Department of Environment of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Mr. Mohammad Javad Mohammadizadeh and Ms. Vidal made remarks about the second phase of the Project. In her statements about the achievements of the first phase of the project, Ms. Vidal underlined the importance of saving the Asiatic Cheetah, not only as an important natural heritage for Iran but to the world. Underlining that should the project not have been carried out since 2001 the world would have lost the Asiatic Cheetah, she highlighted that the achievements of Iran in conserving the Asiatic Cheetah can now serve as an impressive example for other countries in the region and in the world and that the lessons learn of the Project can be shared with countries having species at the risk of extinction or already extinct.
Ms. Vidal reiterated that the Project has been a national endeavour perseveringly carried out by the project staff under the auspices of the Government of the I.R.I, and that the UN system and in this particular case, UNDP are only assisting a national effort. She signified the valuable impacts the Project has had on the local communities next to and within the Cheetah habitats all over Iran and added, ‘In addition to awareness raising among these local communities, the first phase of the project has been able to sensitize many Iranians, particularly the youth in Iran, regarding the importance of addressing the environmental challenges.’ She underlined that the Asiatic Cheetah is now closer to the hearts of the Iranians and they take pride in saving it from extinction. She underlined that through the first phase of the project, the Asiatic Cheetah has not only been saved for Iran as its last stronghold, but also to the world.
The Deputy Resident Representative of UNDP in Iran, Ms. Elzira Sagynbaeva and the Energy and Environment Cluster Programme Analyst, Mr.Saeid Ferdowsi were also present in this ceremony, which was followed by a short media conference. The Project seeks to enhance the achievement of Millenium Development Goals (MDGs) through concentrating on Goal 7. A detailed account of this signing ceremony will follow soon.