Lake Urmia Conservation Institute (LUCI) envisions a day when:
- Lake Urmia (also spelled as Oroumieh, Urmiye, Oroumiye) is restored and the wildlife cycle is back to a sustainable manner; as well as
- The day when such a restored harmony and balance between climate, human activities, wildlife and natural recovery will return Lake Urmia back to global community.
- To promote all possible restoration and recovery solutions through education and advocacy.
- To promote restorative initiatives that would contribute to the ultimate restoration of the Lake Urmia.
- To envision including sustainable restoration and conservation instilled into our vision.
Success of our activities depends on our knowledge on restoration of similar ecosystems and watersheds. It also depends to a great extent on substantial change in agriculture, fisheries and other upstream water consumption facilities.
Environmental management of the ecosystem around the Lake Urmia can currently be characterized as unsustainable, inefficient, inequitable and insecure. This current system is directly linked to drying of the lake, social conflict, as well as cumulative local and regional impacts on land, air and water and stresses on human health.
Ultimately, the drying lake impacts everyone. Society’s ability to successfully restore the situation in Lake Urmia transition to a sustainable system is possible through application of due diligence and knowledge-based decisions and management strategies.
LUCI is an independent, non-political, non-for-profit organization is mandated:
- to provide tools for independent analysis of the situation and status on the ground,
- to provide technical judgement and criticism on the possible path forward options,
- to monitor changes and to bring awareness on the lake status,
- to evaluate potential legal actions in frame of national and international capacities through providing technical expertise for activists,
- to coordinate campaigns.
With the LUCI ‘s focus on the transition towards sustainable lake ecosystem, and its mission to catalyze this transition, we specifically aim to achieve four long-term Behavioral Change Goals and four Environmental Goals, which define our mission.
We define a “Sustainable Lake Ecosystem” as one, in which
- the natural water cycle can maintain the minimum water level necessary for healthy ecosystem
- the food chain in the lake ecosystem maintains a healthy and balance cycle for wildlife
- there is a suitable base for migratory birds,
- micro climate in the region is balanced,
- there is no burden of risk for future generations,
- communities live satisfying and healthy lives.
Behavioral Change Goals
Our long-term goals for behavioral change are:
- a redirection of the Iranian government towards responsible water management and consumption in the Azerbaijan region;
- implementation by Iranian government of policies and programs that will result in sustainable ecosystem in Lake Urmia;
- raising concerns, gaps and loopholes in existing regulations or international laws to the attention of international organizations for possible improvements,
- empowerment of youth and public with the skills, knowledge and attitudes to enact the shift toward sustainable healthy lake ecosystem.
Together with our long-term behavioral change goals, we seek to achieve the following environmental goals:
- Restore the sustainable ecosystem for Lake Urmia,
- Minimize negative impacts of drying lake by providing information and raising awareness among the public,
- Maximize knowledge base among the public to ignite personal responsibilities
- Maximize chance of success of restoration activities by providing technical feedbacks.
Part of our strategy is therefore an attempt to influence key international decisions and to work in partnership with counterparts in other countries.
Making the Transition
The Lake Urmia Conservation Institute’s vision involves a long-term transition from the current reality dominated by inefficient and ignorant management to a sustainable future. However we believe that given the significant environmental harm and other adverse ecological and social impacts caused by drying lake, the society has an obligation to current and future generations to protect this unique ecosystem. It is therefore important to utilize the potential public conscious to expedite the transition process. In this frame Lake Urmia Conservation Institute organizes public campaign with the objective to:
- Raise awareness on Lake Urmia and the environmental disaster happening in the Middle East;
- Demand the international organizations such as UNESCO and FAO, and the Iranian government to take immediate actions to preserve the lake; and
- Save Lake Urmia from complete drying and to preserve unique ecosystem, flora and fauna around the lake.
We do believe with raising public awareness and knowledge, it is possible to achieve a cleaner, healthier and sustainable future for Lake Urmia.