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    Anzali Lagoon

    Bandar-e Anzali - Anzali Lagoon


    Anzali Lagoon (also Anzali MordabAnzali BayPahlavi MordabPahlavi Bay or Anzali Liman) is a coastal liman, or lagoon, in the Caspian Sea near Bandar-e Anzali, in the northern Iranian province of Gilan. Anzali Lagoon plays the role of a filter for the rivers which flow to Caspian Sea.The lagoon divides Bandar-e Anzali into two parts, and is home to both the Selke Wildlife Refuge and the Siahkesheem Marsh.


    One of the most beautiful watery landscapes in Iran is the Anzali Lagoon which is full of amazing scenes. The lagoon is one of the world’s most famous ones. Anzali Lagoon is one of last resorts of Iranian wildlife which needs to be protected against fast urbanization that has destroyed natural habitats of unique living species.

    Although the lagoon suffers from pollution, it is still a heaven for local and migratory birds and also fish spawning.  With more than 100 bird species and 50 fish species as well as other aquatic plants, Anzali Lagoon has become a great ecosystem in this region. The most famous water plant in the Lagoon is Caspian lotus. Hence, Anzali Lagoon is also called Lotus Lagoon.

    In winter, the reed beds and islands of the lagoon still receive one of the most important gatherings of migratory birds in the world. Despite protective measures, there is still some duck hunting, especially with net snares. Large amounts of rushes and reeds are used in making mats (ḥaṣīr) and baskets and to cover the roofs of rural houses. Wet lands in the south and southeast exposed by the withdrawal of the lagoon are employed as good quality grazing land called qoroq.

    The lagoon has decreased in size since the 1930s to less than a quarter of its former extent. However, in the recent years water salinity has increased both by the rise of the level of the Caspian Sea which has caused greater interchange of waters, and due to greater salt transport in incoming "fresh" water due to increased upstream irrigation.

    Bandar-e Anzali stands on both sides of the entrance to the lagoon, though the port is mainly on the eastern side. It is the main port for trade with Russia, and access needs to be maintained by dredging. There is a mixed population of Russians, Armenians, Caucasians, and Turkmen.

    In the 1890s as many as 300,000 carp were fished in a day; 1,300 tons were caught in 1935. Commercial fishing was done during the spring and autumn spawning cycles when the kutum, pike-perch and bream, would enter the lagoon from the Caspian. However, a number of factors acted against the continuation of the fishery and by the time commercial fishing ceased in 1960 annual catches were less than 100 tons. That heavy fishing in the past has combined with the falling water level to bring about a greatly reduced fish population: Carp have practically disappeared; Caspian roach, European pike-perch and bream are found in small quantities, and only sheatfish and kutum are still found in large number, together with goldfish, an accidentally introduced fish of low quality.



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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.