Urumiyeh, A Unique Lake Exposed To Danger: Challenges And Sustainable Approaches
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R. Sarvar, H. Mojtaba Zadeh, A. Estelaji & M. Ranjbar
Urumiyeh is the name of a lake located in the north-west of Iran, commonly known by various names such as Chichest, meaning white and shining, a name given many ages before it was recorded in the writings of historians. Miyeh means ‘Ma’ (water), and the initial syllable of the word (i.e. Ur) means land and fire. However, due to the fact that Zoroaster belonged to this land, the word Urumiyeh seems relevant to both interpretations. Besides the primeval and sacred nature of this lake, it is regarded as one of the most significant, vast, and highest lakes in the plateau of Iran. Moreover, it enjoys many unique and exclusive natural features as well as having many beautiful environmental areas. It has already been recognized by UNESCO as being among 59 global storage spots in the world and is formally identified in their records. However, several factors are having a detrimental effect on the lake and its environment, giving rise to the steady elimination of the lake’s outstanding features. Therefore, it requires prompt and serious attention, both at national and international levels to address the problems. The main aim of our research in this article is to identify the key problem areas and to propose remedial action. Keywords: sustainable development, sustainable planning, national park, environmental impact assessment, protected areas. 1 Introduction Urumiyeh Lake usually covers 4000 to 6000 square km of the region. Its length is between 120 to 160 km from north to south and its width changes from 15 to 60 km. The height of the lake is 1265 meters and the depth is between 4 and 50 meters. The water of the lake is provided by a pond of 3500 square km and is
sustainable development, sustainable planning, national park, environmental impact assessment, protected areas.