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EghtesadOnline: Iran’s efforts in reviving Lake Orumiyeh (Urmia) in North West of the country are being seriously followed up by international community, the United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Head of UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Eric Solheim said.

Addressing a Saturday meeting participated by experts of the West Azarbaijan Department of the Environment and Agricultural Jihad here, Solheim said that stabilizing the current conditions of Urmia Lake and increasing the level of water signify effective measures taken by the Iranian government and also good interactions among state departments, local communities, academics and environmental activists. 

According to IRNA, Solheim urged officials active in the work group on reviving Urmia Lake to share the results of their activities with international community.

“From an all-time low in 2013, Lake Urmia water levels have risen. Government & local efforts key to this. UN will continue to support,” he said in a twitter message on Feb 26.

According to the UN Information Center in Tehran (UNIC), Solheim who arrived in Tehran on Feb 24, is expected to meet senior officials in Tehran and focus on expanding regional cooperation on environmental issues.

Orumiyeh Lake, world's sixth largest saltwater lake, has been facing drought crisis since past two decades.

Efforts to attract the international and national attention to the Orumiyeh Lake are not new. Many senior officials in the country including President Hassan Rouhani, parliamentarians as well as popular social figures and artists like the famous actor Reza Kianian and also Hollywood star Leonardo DiCaprio have made this environmental question as part of their advocacy.

Lake Orumiyeh Eric Solheim