Despite the paramount role of drylands in supporting people’s livelihoods and rendering ecosystem services, legislation on Environmental Impact Assessment has been introduced belatedly after several decades. By exemplifying Iran, the author proposes two main reasons for such a delayed action. First, drylands are misleadingly considered as barren lands where biodiversity is relatively low. In one classification, deserts are even categorized along with rocks. Second, the author emphasizes that drylands have been subjected to unprecedented changes due to the expansion of infrastructure and urbanization that started in the 1970s. These growing pressures have been beyond the ecological resilience of drylands and have not been monitored, assessed, and modified correctly. Further scrutiny regarding EIA undertakings in drylands and the way they can be improved is now needed.
- environmental impact assessment