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A home for conservation volunteers in Golestan National Park
A home for conservation volunteers in Golestan National Park

Shortage of manpower to handle all conservation-related issues, lack of public awareness of the situation of the region, and consequently lack of public participation and neglect towards the law have caused severe conflicts in Golestan National Park. In 2015, following previous research and consultations, the establishment of the Department of Volunteers was considered to be an effective means to enhance public practical participation in the conservation process, in order to overcome problems in Golestan National Park. We thus investigated the necessary infrastructures and, in December 2015, prepared the final design for the establishment of the Department of Volunteers in Golestan National Park as an independent non-governmental organization.

During the first months of 2016, we corresponded with the Department of Environment on the matter and carried out activities to raise funds for the start of the project.

In October 2016, meetings held with the presence of the Head of Surveillance on Wildlife Affairs Office of Golestan Province and Deputy of Golestan National Park, led to a trilateral MoU between Perisan Wildlife Heritage Foundation, Golestan Province Department of Environment Office and Golestan National Park Office. This MoU specifies the duties and role of each party in administering the Department of Volunteers.

Volunteers’ activities will be designed for each season by Golestan DoE and Golestan National Park Office and we at PWHF will be organizing these activities.

A number of interested local people will be providing the accommodation and equipment for volunteers. Enrollment will be done online and volunteers should pay for their trip and food. The first groups of volunteers will be heading the Park right after the headquarters of the Department of Volunteers has been prepared and preliminary planning has been done.