Consensus of the Convention on Biological Diversity, academics and executive directors of the competent authorities on the prohibition of planting the invasive plant Paulownia
Consensus on the prohibition of planting the invasive plant Paulownia
The second joint meeting of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and Federation of Iran Bioscience Societies (FIrBS) proposed by the head of the FIrBS-Biodiversity Working Group Dr. Shahbazi and hosted by the convention was held virtually on Monday, December 30, 2020 on the consequences of the plantings of invasive species in the natural and agricultural fields of the country, with an emphasis on Paulownia as the opportunistic and aggressive species. At this meeting, which was attended by the chairman of the convention, Dr. Zand, the president of Federation, Dr.
Habibi Rezaei, the executive managers of the relevant authorities, including the Iran Plant Protection Organization and the Forests, Range and Watershed Management Organization, as well as University professors, after presenting the specialized opinions by the attendee, the history of banning on the cultivation of Paulownia, especially in the forest areas of the country by the Plant Protection Organization and the Institute of Forests and Rangeland was recalled and firm emphasize was stressed on the invasion of Paulownia and its environmental damage. It was also announced that this tree was removed from the agenda of the forest cultivation plan of the Forest Organization due to the lack of economic production, and its mixed cultivation plans were stopped. However, the problem of cultivating and distributing its seedlings widely continues, even online, along with extensive publicity in cyberspace and national media. At the final conclusion, it was decided to announce the official position of this meeting to the competent authorities and to take the necessary measures to inform about the ban on cultivation and distribution of Paulownia without permission. The Holding of a joint working group between the CBD and FIrBS, with the presence of first-rank scholars of biodiversity and ecology was also agreed. Moreover, the attendee agreed to expand their activities on the study and decide on the other invasive species.
It should be noted that Paulownia is on the world list of invasive plants. This plant has characterized by high water consumption, high adaptability and aggressive behavior, especially in degraded forest areas, rapid growth and high reproduction through pruning and abundant seed production, inability to control and eradicate, as well as hosting some pests and diseases threatens the indigenous plant species of the country, especially Hyrcanian forests.