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    Iran Best Habitat of Gando

    Chabahar - Iran Best Habitat of Gando


    Iran’s southern Sistan Baluchestan province is home to a rare species of crocodile named Gando.
    A type of short-muzzled crocodile, Gando has been designated as a highly endangered species by the international community since its number is dramatically declining in the world.
    However, the local residents’ respect for nature has saved this rare species from extinction and Iran appears to be its safest and best habitat.
    The residents of Sistan Baluchestan province have never hunted a Gando since they have settled in the region.
    Gando exists wherever water exists. These two are correlated and the Baluch people believe that if one of them were to leave, the other will also follow. Therefore, Gando crocodiles could survive for generations after the generations in the rivers of the province, the Persian daily Hamshahri reported.

    Gando Protected Zone
    The rivers of Sistan-Baluchetsan overflow when it rains and submerge the land. However, when the raining season ends, some rivers dry up and some change into narrow streams, which form the habitats of Gando.
    Gando is also the name of the only protected zone in Iran, which is hosting these animals.
    Spanning over 465,000 hectares, Gando Protected Zone extends along the borders of Iran and Pakistan. The area comprises mountains, plains, deserts and Hara Forests.

    Neighboring Countries
    Gandos are slaughtered for their expensive skins. They are near extinction in the neighboring countries, in spite of the many environmental laws that ban the animal’s hunting.
    Overhunting and poaching have driven Gando toward extinction in Pakistan and India which currently only a handful of the animals are living in these two countries.
    Praising the Iranian Baluch people’s attitude toward nature, Sistan-Baluchestan province is the best refuge for Gando in Iran and even in the world.

    Increasing Protection
    Known as Persian or marsh crocodiles, Gandos can crawl over a long distance because of their stronger back feet. These animals dig up tunnels to take refuge in during too hot or too cold days.
    They grow up to 2-3 meters in length and their lifespan is between 20-30 years when living conditions are suitable.
    Gandos lay eggs during May and their young ones hatch one month later.
    The population of Gando in Sistan-Baluchestan province is estimated to be between 300 -400.
    Ganado’s census is very difficult because the population of Gando is highly dispersed.
    One habitat may be kilometers away from the other, while only two crocodiles may be living in one habitat, a group of them may be found in another one.
    The largest number of Gandos die in the first weeks of life, emphasizing on the need for increasing protection measures during this period.


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    This workshop is designed according to the UNESCO World Heritage Education Programme in order to give young people a chance to voice their concerns and to become involved in the protection of our common cultural and natural heritage. It seeks to encourage and enable tomorrow’s decision-makers to participate in heritage conservation and to respond to the continuing threats facing our World Heritage. The idea of involving young people in World Heritage preservation and promotion came as a response to Article 27 of the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (World Heritage Convention). Furthermore, Patrimonito means 'small heritage' in Spanish and the character represents a young heritage guardian. Patrimonito has been widely adopted as the international mascot of the World Heritage Education Programme.
    Date: 29th December
    Number of trainees: 7
    Duration: 3 hours

    The workshop of "Patrimonito" was held on 29th of December. Participants arrived around 10:30 and they were welcomed by hot chocolate and Persian cup cakes. After a little introduction by trainers and trainees, the process started by making two groups and letting them choose a name for their group, each group was accompanied by a mentor then each group was given some images of world heritage sites in Iran and some descriptions, each group was asked to match images and descriptions, the mentor was guiding them throughout the activity. All trainees were participating actively and trying to remember their experiences about their travels to these places. When they were done with the activity, the mentors started giving the answers and a brief explanation about each site; mentors were using trainees’ ideas and experiences to complete their tasks.

    Shortly after that, the second part started which was a presentation done by two of mentors. The aim of this presentation was to define the value of these world heritage sites and duties of each person as a "Patrimonito", and what happens if there is no "Patrimonito" and nobody cares about our tangible or intangible heritage. In this part trainees started questioning and understanding the whole concept of being a "Patrimonito", they also added their own suggestions on how to protect our heritage and by the end of this part, they were completely aware about their role as a "Patrimonito".
    Now it was a best time to have a short break, during the break trainees were introduced to some of intangible heritages as they were served by traditional food and snacks and even they way of serving was according to traditions and everyone had this opportunity to discuss about intangible heritage while enjoying some traditional food and snacks.
    When the break was done, everyone was asked to choose a heritage either tangible or intangible and they had to introduce their chosen heritage to a tourist by making a postcard using what they have learnt. They were given all of necessary tools such as color papers, color pencils, glue, scissors, images of heritage and a mentor was with them in order to help them completing the task.

    When they were done, they handed out their postcards and with the mentors they sat together and spent a few minutes asking and answering about what they have learnt. Then they were told to say their vows for protecting their heritage and caring about it, the mentor said the vow and the trainees repeated after her and they officially became a "Patrimonito".

    The last but the best part was when they were given the certificates, and they were told that since they are aware of the value of the heritage and they know how to protect it, they are chosen as "Patrimonito" and they should continue their mission by introducing the value of heritage to others. They were granted certificates and labels and the workshop of "Patrimonito" was finished by taking some memorial photos.