Tag Archive for 'urmia lake'

Police Beat, Tie-Up, and Fire On Citizens Protesting Dying Ramsar Protected Lake in Iran

Lake Urmia protests. Retrieved from: www.greenprophet.com

“Like a chain of dominos, citizen protests are erupting everywhere: following the Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions catalyzed in part by skyrocketing food prices, political protests have swept throughout the Arab world. But it hasn’t stopped there, and not all battles are political.

In Jordan, ordinary people are protesting government plans to include nuclear power in its arsenal of energy sources, while in the United States, Bill McKibben and other well-respected community members, including Jim Hansen from NASA, have been arrested for marching against the Keystone XL Pipeline –  a carbon bomb that climatologists say would officially end the battle against climate change (humanity 0 vs. climate change 7 billion). But none of these latter environmental events has garnered such an extreme response as the Lake Orumiyeh protests in Iran, where bloggers report that people are being arrested, beaten, and in some cases tied to trees for protesting the slow death of the world’s second largest salt lake.

Dried up Mecca

In part because of drought and in part because of poorly managed dam construction and irrigation projects, Lake Orumiyeh or Urmia in Northwestern Iran has shrunk to roughly 60% of its original size. Once a mecca for flamingos and other wildlife, the dying lake now more closely resembles a dusty moonscape.

Residents in Azerbaijan that rely on the Ramsar protected site for their sustenance claim that Revolutionary Guards are responsible for shrinking lake levels and the subsequent rise in salinity and decrease in biodiversity. Global Voices claims that if Lake Urmia dries up completely, millions of people will have to settle elsewhere.”

Read more: Green Prophet