“Radical decentralization” needed in Iran to allow Kurdish communities to benefit from natural resources – Eurasia Review

Experts say a radical decentralization of politics and decision-making in Iran is needed to allow Kurdish communities to benefit from natural resources.

The Kurdish regions of Iran have rich minerals, dense forests, and huge surface and underground water deposits.

But deforestation, environmental exploitation and the irregular and reckless mining of gold and aluminum have led to environmental and health problems among the Kurdish people as well as droughts and water shortages.

The study describes the number of Kurds who view the Iranian state’s economic and development policies in Kurdistan as unsustainable, discriminatory and colonialist. Kurdish environmental groups have been heavily targeted by Iran’s security and judicial systems.

Researchers say water management is seen as destructive and mismanaged as it is transferred from Iranian Kurdistan to other regions. This threatens to bring desertification and land subsidence. Under the Turkish State’s Southeast Anatolia Project (GAP), 22 dams have been built in Kurdistan, another form of exploitation of Kurdistan’s natural resources. This had a negative impact on the landscape and culture of the region.

The study indicates that the Kurdish people could benefit from the natural human resources of Kurdistan if there were a radical form of decentralization of the political and decision-making system so that they can participate in the different aspects of political and economic activities determined by their cultural values. and national, their needs and preferences.

The study, published in the Journal of Global Systems Researchwas conducted by Dr Allan Hassaniyan, University of Exeter and Mansour Sohrabi, an independent researcher.

Dr Hassaniyan said: “Over the past decades, the natural environment of Kurdistan has been subjected to massive degradation, and the natural resources of Kurdistan – which should have been the source of wealth and prosperity for the people of region – have been widely exploited by different state institutions, including the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and its sub-organizations and contractors.

“People are facing drought, soil erosion and deforestation. Damage to the natural environment in Kurdistan is caused by climate change and human activities, including government mismanagement of environmental issues and disasters.

Dr. Sohrabi said: “The Iranian state’s economic and developmental approach to the natural resources of Kurdistan, as well as the extraction and exploitation of these resources, has led to a significant degradation of the environment, affecting public health.

“The state-centric approach to socio-economic development, exemplified by building dams, transporting water, deforestation, siting polluting industries such as oil refineries in or near natural sites, is among the government initiatives that pose a significant threat to the environmental sustainability and socio-economic integrity of the various communities in the region.

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