UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee added the ancient Hyrcanian forests in northern Iran to the organization’s emblematic world heritage list. The world body made the decision during a meeting in Baku.
The forests which stretch along the southern coast of the Caspian Sea date back to 25 to 50 million years ago. UNESCO highlighted the floristic biodiversity of Hyrcanian Forests which are home to 44% of the vascular plants known in Iran.
The broad-leaved temperate forests are also home to 180 species of bird and 58 mammal species including the iconic Persian Leopard.
Hyrcanian Forests are the second natural site in Iran to have made the UNESCO’s World Heritage List. Lut Desert in the south-east of the country gained the status back in 2016.
Ali Asghar Mounesan, head of Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization, welcomed the decision calling it a supportive move towards saving Iran’s natural resources.
Iran has also a total of 22 cultural sites inscribed on the World Heritage List. They include Persepolis, the magnificent capital of the Persian Empire, Pasargadae, the first dynastic capital of the Achaemenid Empire. Jameh Mosque of Isfahan, and Golestan Palace in the capital Tehran are also among other remarkable inscriptions on the list.