Iran - Nomination dossier for Hyrcanian forests as World Heritage Site

The project ‘Supporting the creation of a nomination dossier for Iran’s Hyrcanian forests as World Heritage Site’ supported capacity building and preparation of a nomination dossier for the Hyrcanian forest by the Iranian side through providing technical support, holding training workshops and giving expert advice.


The Hyrcanian forest extends from the south of Azerbaijan to about 900 km to the east to the Iranian provinces of Gilan, Mazandaran and Golestan. This forest forms the outermost boundary of the west-Eurasian nemoral deciduous forests to alpine thorn cushion corridors and forest-free dry vegetation of the Iranian highlands and Central Asia.


The Hyrcanian forest cover the northern slope of the Alborz mountain in Iran at the southern edge of the Caspian Sea and it contains very rich ecosystems due to the particular orographic and climatic situation (precipitation rich, warm-temperate, high moisture from the Caspian Sea and damming effect of the Alborz mountain range). This forest is one of the major glacial refugia arcto-tertiary forest vegetation where a number of tertiary relics survived the Ice Age and developed numerous endemic taxa of flora and fauna. The nomination of the Hyrcanian Forests as a UNESCO World Heritage site had been under attention since 2001 prior to become the recent focus and one of the priorities of the Iranian government on 2017.


The remnants of virgin and old-growth forests should be protected strictly for the world and the World Heritage Convention is a suitable tool to protect the remaining pristine remnants of Natural heritage. Recognition of these forests as a World Heritage site will increase the worldwide popularity of these forests, in addition, it can enhance the realization of the people in the region of their outstanding heritage through awareness raising and exchange of experiences with other world heritage sites. The world heritage certificate also contributes to increase tourism in the world heritage.


The project was financed by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety of Germany.


Projekt coordination:

Morvarid Kamali, email: momrvarid.kamali(at)