Centuries-old oak trees cut down in Rojhelat Kurdistan

A female environmental activist in Rojhelat Kurdistan says centuries-old oak trees have been cut down by some groups like mafia having connections with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. She calls for the prevention of more destruction of nature.


Sardasht- Some groups like ‘mafia’ having connection with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps have been cutting down centuries-old oak trees in Rojhelat Kurdistan (Kurdistan in Iran). The cut down trees have been transferred to other cities of Iran. NuJINHA spoke to a female environmental activist (she did not share her name due to security reasons) about the destruction of nature in Eastern Kurdistan.

‘They betray their environment’

The environmental activist told us that the cutting of trees has reached a critical point. “Environmental degradation has entered a new stage. The cutting of trees is like a drug addict who sells everything for short-term relief. Some people have been cutting down centuries-old oak trees, taking them to other cities of Iran, and selling them at low prices to make more money. By cutting trees, they betray their environment,” she said.

Underlining that authorities support the people, who have been cutting down the trees, she said, “The government does not impose any sanctions on these people. The members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps also support these people. These people have been cutting down trees in Sardasht, Baneh and Marivan. They have to pass checkpoints to take the trees to other cities. As we learned, they pay a bribe to pass the checkpoints.”

 ‘They destroy nature’

Speaking about the environmental degradation in Iran and Rojhilat Kurdistan, the environmental activist said, “The Islamic Republic of Iran has already shown that environmental issues are not important for it. The environmental degradation in Eastern Kurdistan is worse than other regions. They deliberately destroy nature in Eastern Kurdistan.  Military forces, especially the Revolutionary Guards, target forests because they see them as a threat against them.”