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Iran's Environmental Challenges Subject of VOA Series

Iran's environmental challenges are spotlighted in a five-part series on VOA's Persian News Network

Washington, D.C., February 19, 2009 - Iran's environmental challenges are spotlighted in a five-part series on Voice of America's (VOA) Persian News Network (PNN), which examines air and water pollution, deforestation and decreasing biodiversity across the country.

The series, running this week, developed after PNN's audience in Iran responded to an on-air request with photos and video of the country's environmental challenges. The visual documentation served as a foundation for the reporting.

"This series is unique because it was made possible by the direct participation of the audience who shared their environmental concerns," said VOA Director Danforth Austin. "VOA is keen to help its audience confront challenges."

Besides focusing on the scope of Iran's environmental problems and associated health concerns, the series provides examples of how citizen coalitions can play a role in pushing for environmental changes.

The programs also highlight the origin and history of U.S. environmental organizations, such as the Sierra Club, the Pew Institute for Ocean Science, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Environmental Protection Agency.

VOA has the largest combined radio and television audience of all international broadcasters in Iran, with one in four adult Iranians tuning into a VOA show at least once a week. VOA broadcasts seven hours of television daily, repeated in a 24-hour format, and five hours of radio. Broadcasts are available round-the-clock on the Internet at

The Voice of America, which first went on the air in 1942, is a multimedia international broadcasting service funded by the U.S. government through the Broadcasting Board of Governors. VOA broadcasts approximately 1,500 hours of news, information, educational, and cultural programming every week to an estimated worldwide audience of more than 134 million people. Programs are produced in 45 languages.

For more information, please call VOA Public Relations at (202) 203-4959, or e-mail