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Int’l Conference on Combating Sand, Dust Storms Underway in Tehran

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – An international conference titled “Combating Sand and Dust Storms (SDS): Challenges and Practical Solutions” was launched in the Iranian capital, Tehran, on Monday.

Co-hosted by the United Nations and the Iranian Department of Environment, the three-day event opened in the capital on Monday.

More than 30 countries that have been hardly hit by dust and sand storms, are attending the conference.

It aims to focus on the global and regional impacts as well as economic and environmental implications of dust and sand storms.

The region has been experiencing the problem of dust storms since more than a decade ago when neighboring Turkey launched its Southeastern Anatolia Project, also known as GAP.

Under the project, Turkey built 22 dams over parts of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, which run across its territory. The rivers also traverse Syria, Iraq and Iran.

According to statistics, the project has reduced the water flow in the rivers’ basin by 34 percent, causing 94 percent of the Mesopotamia to dry up, and thus unleashing sandstorms onto the southwestern Iranian province of Khuzestan.

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