Any planning concerning environmental and conservation issues requires a sound scientific foundation to base policy decisions at both national and local levels. Thus, research programs constantly need to respond to these requirements and to undertake the appropriate studies on natural resources such as water, soil, and vegetation. The natural resources and preventing their destruction similarly requires a sound understanding of the natural environment in order to ensure their preservation and ultimately their sustainable utilization. It is also important that a framework for comprehensive and long-term planning with regard to environmental and conservation issues be developed which takes in to account the results of the research.
Based on these goals, the Research Institute of Forests and Rangelands was founded in 1968 as a national institute and with mandatory responsibilities to lead research activities on natural resources of Iran. The main areas of responsibilities of the institute are outlined below:
۱) Forest research division: research projects are about forestry, forestecology, forest management, forest engineering, forest policies, forest economical and social issues.
۲) Rangeland research division: research projects are mainly about rangeland management, rangeland ecology and improvements in farming and also economical and social issues of rangelands.
۳) Botany research division: this division identifies plants and vegetation of the country, it also concentrates on phytosociologic studies and provides plants population maps, identifies rare and endangered species and contributes conservation of hereditary resources. Some other activities of this division are studying biological diversity, creating and developing herbarium, establishing Botanical Garden and finally access to valuable species for utilization in industry.
۴) Medicinal plants and by-products research division: it accumulates, identifies, plants and determine essential elements in many native species of the country.
۵) Desert research division: it researches about land erosion, water resources, land resources, desert management and their exploitation.
۶) Wood and paper technology research division: it studies in the field of physic and anatomy of wood and wood mechanics. Also it characterizes woods of different species in terms of their structure and best usage, and determines how Iranian wood should be sawn, dried also establishing methods for preserving different woods.
۷) Poplar and fast growing trees research group: investigation about compatibility and determining appropriate numerals of poplar in short term period of exploitation which takes place in this division.
۸) Conservation and protection of forest and rangeland research group: it investigates and studies living and nonliving factors which damages forests and rangelands, it also maintains sustainable balance and biological diversity in Iran natural resources extent. It also concentrates on biological control, forest and rangeland diseases , it`s joint management for protection and conservation of different forest and rangeland ecosystems.
۹) Biotechnology research group: there are four groups as plant breeding, tissue culture, molecular biology and plant genetic engineering and plant physiology. These have been formed in the division to cover all the research requirements in the mentioned fields.
۱۰) Mechanization research group: it investigates, designs and builds forest and rangeland machines and expands mechanization methods in degenerating and enhancing precision, speed and efficiency of various practices in support of natural recourses.
۱۱) Gene bank of natural resources: This division gathers identifies and assess and also conserve gene sources in different fields of natural resources in the country.
Since the establishment of the institute more than 2800 projects in different national and regional varieties have been conducted. 1300 projects have been completed up to now. University professors and students have continuous contribution with us. More than 300 M. A and Ph.D Theses from inside and outside Iran have been under conduction.
In applying, transferring and promoting the obtained research projects, we can claim that all the final results are valuable in different ways for conducting in education, management and promoting experts. Among all research projects 65 percent were efficient and 35 percent were fundamental.