FAO in new departure funds Iranian ‘transformative study tour’ in China

The Iranian delegation in China on FAO funded excursion

 TEHRAN – An Iranian delegation has embarked on a “transformative study tour in China with FAO support” in a development that is sure to raise Western concern over FAO DG Qu Dongyu’s possible distribution of funds to the Iranian regime supporting Hamas and Russia, the Tehran Times reported.

 “Through the support of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), under a GEF project ‘Rehabilitation of Forest Landscapes and Degraded Land,’ the Islamic Republic of Iran's National Resource and Watershed Organization (NRWO) embarked on a study tour focusing on forest landscape rehabilitation on 15-21 October, “ the English language semi-official newspaper reported.

 “The study tour provides Iranian delegates an opportunity to share their knowledge and experiences in dryland ecosystem and natural resources management with the host while also being more familiar with a wealth of enriching experiences and insights on sustainable forest management, climate resilience, reforestation strategies, and the indispensable role that forests play in biodiversity conservation.”

 “This program enables the participants to actively engage in knowledge-sharing sessions with Chinese experts and practitioners, gaining first-hand exposure to innovative and sustainable dryland forest and natural resources management practices in practice. Furthermore, it places significant emphasis on refining the policy and institutional environment.“

 Funneling funds to the burgeoning anti-Western axis of Iran and China supporting Russia in the Ukraine war comes on the heels of Qu being criticised by Western ambassadors for echoing Russian propaganda calling the invasion of Ukraine a “military operation” in FAO press statements and failing to deal effectively with Moscow’s blockade of Black Sea grain exports.

Tehran Times added that “towards the same objective, a Regional Workshop ‘Leveraging South-South and Triangular Cooperation to Promote Sustainable Forestry Management in Asia and the Pacific’ is also organized at the end of the study tour.”

 “The workshop will compile the discussions and feedback of the two sites' visits (Saihanba and Kubuqi ) and draft the key practices and lessons learned between both countries in the context of transforming the dryland production systems under the desertification and drought impacts. “

 The trip is seen as harbinger of FAO brokering further financial ties between the two totalitarian countries, the newspaper added. “The workshop will also aim to explore the possibility of initiating an SSTC (south South and Triangulation) framework between the two countries through FAO, “ Tehran Times said.

 Despite its unique natural heritage, Iran is among the countries worldwide with a low forest cover, accounting for less than 10 percent of its total land area. Forests, as crucial contributors to food and nutrition security and ecosystem preservation, are under threat, with their disappearance accelerating faster than in many other parts of the world.

 In response to this pressing situation, the Global Environment Facility (GEF) initiated the "Rehabilitation of Forest Landscapes and Degraded Land" project in 2011. This project aimed to address the main challenges to dryland ecosystems and forest resources in Iran, promote Sustainable Land and Forest Management (SLFM), and build the capacity for sustainable livelihoods, food security, and the fight against desertification.