Cleanup of Miankaleh Peninsula’s northern shore to greet incoming migratory birds
Cleanup of Miankaleh Peninsula’s northern shore to greet incoming migratory birds

On September 23rd and 24th 2011, Persian Wildlife Heritage Foundation organized a cleanup trip to Miankaleh Peninsula, a “protected area” and bird sanctuary on the south-eastern part of the Caspian Sea. Several environmental NGOs and socially responsible companies collaborated in the cleanup project and 200 volunteers from all age groups participated in the event. Miankaleh is called “migratory birds’ paradise” and is considered an important wintering area for various rare birds, including flamingos. Pollution caused by waste in nature has become a threat to these birds’ habitat, as birds swallow toxic waste and their feet occasionally get entangled in clumps of nylon threads that gradually from after nylon ropes or fishing nets are abandoned on the shore by the fishermen. Toxic substances released from the abandoned garbage also intoxicate the food chain and end up in what the birds feed on.
Sam Radjabi, the project manager, assessed the response to our invitation very positive. He said: “Despite some difficulties, the participants managed to collect up to 6 tons of litter which is a considerable amount.” Radjabi also thinks that a major impact of these kinds of programs is to change the participants’ point of view: “when we directly encounter so much waste our whole attitude and behavior towards consumption changes and we become conscious of all the waste that is associated with our consumption, plastics in particular.” He added that: “The most important goal here is to change the way people consume in order to reduce waste production.”
Houman Jowkar, PWHF’s wildlife expert, notes that most of the garbage in shorelines originates in towns and villages along the rivers that feed into the sea and is eventually carried onto the shores by the waves. According to him, “this problem needs to be solved from the source, i.e. at those towns and villages that dump their waste into the rivers. This really works like a vicious circle, as waste dumped in the rivers keeps on coming back at us.”
The waste collected during this event mainly consisted of plastic bottles, fishing ropes and nets, syringes and all kinds of other garbage. Garbage collected by volunteers were disposed in special bags and lined up along the shore. With prior arrangements with Gorgan Recycling Plant, they dispatched their trucks and took all the bags to their facility for recycling.
Groups and organizations participating in our sponsoring program:
Bel-Sahar Co. (Kibi Cheese)
Aftab Azarine Elementary School
Sadeghi Furniture and Interior Design Co.
Danjeh- Aria Co. (Hoffenberg)
Zaghmarz Environment Lovers’ Society
Dehkadeh-Sabz Society
Diana Ecotourism Institution
Ariaban Nature and Culture Institution
Behshashr Department of Environment
Kavoshgaran-Tabiat- Donya
Tamadon Zagros Ecotourism Institution Miankaleh Watch Population
Golestan Province’s Waste
Management Organization
Khaneh-Tabiat-Miankaleh Tourism Co.
Tabiat & Tamadon watch
Avaye Tabiate Paydar Institute