Deserts Should Be Protected as Much as Oilfields: MP

Lut Desert in Iran
Lut Desert: Sand dunes in Rig-e Yallan

An Iranian Parliament Member says desert is also part of the country’s natural resources and needs as much protection as oil and gas resources.

“Iran has great natural potentials and tourist attractions we have inherited from our ancestors. We should benefit from them at our best,” noted Hossein Amiri Khamkani, an Iranian lawmaker.

According to a Farsi report by ICANA, he said, “With its rare skyscrapers, Lut Desert is an excellent tourist attraction that catches the attention of foreign tourists who visit its neighbouring provinces.”

“We should pay full attention to this natural heritage. In areas near cities, the sand dunes of Lut Desert are sometimes harvested for certain usages. The governors of Lut Desert neighbouring provinces and counties must endeavour to conserve this natural resource by preventing encroachments on the Desert.”

“As no one can encroach on oil and gas resources, no one should also be allowed to encroach into Lut Desert, which is a World Heritage Site,” Amiri stressed, stressing that the violation of Desert protection policies are considered as a crime.

In a session held on July 17, 2016, in Istanbul, the World Heritage Committee inscribed Iran’s Lut Desert as the country’s first natural site to be registered in the UNESCO World Heritage List.

The Lut Desert, or Dasht-e-Lut, is located in the south-east of Iran.

Between June and October, this arid subtropical area is swept by strong winds, which transport sediment and cause aeolian erosion on a colossal scale.

Consequently, the site presents some of the most spectacular examples of aeolian yardang landforms (massive corrugated ridges).

It also contains extensive stony deserts and dune fields. The property represents an exceptional example of ongoing geological processes.

Measurements of MODIS (Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) installed on NASA’s Aqua satellite from 2003 to 2010 testify that the hottest land surface on Earth is located in Lut Desert. Land surface temperatures reach 70.7 °C (159.3 °F) in this place, though the air temperature is cooler.

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