Mountain Environment Protection Society (MEPS) 

Mountain Environment Protection Society (MEPS) was established as an NGO in Tehran in 1993 by a group of mountaineers and nature lovers. It is committed to the conservation and sustainable mountain development and is known as the leader of mountain-related activities in Iran. MEPS is focused on awareness raising and capacity building of the general public and Iranian government organizations concerning the importance of mountain ecosystems.

It was the lead organization handling activities related to the International Year of Mountains (IYM) in 2002 and has been acting as the Focal Point for the Mountain Partnership (MP), an international alliance led by the UN-FAO since 2003. It is also a member organization of IUCN (International Union for Conversation of Nature).

MEPS is the first environmental NGO in Iran to initiate and conduct tree planting and clean-up projects in mountains since 1994, which was later developed into a national campaign throughout the country. 

Since its inception, MEPS has organized several educational programmes, seminars and promotional presentations, has published books, brochures and is publishing the newsletter, "Mountain Environment", which addresses mountain-specific and scientific issues.

MEPS, has successfully conducted a series of UNDP-GEF projects in the mountains of north-western Iran from 2002 up to the present time.

 MEPS has a strong reputation and good relationships with important government agencies in Iran, including the Department of Environment (DOE), the Forests, Range, and Watershed Organisation (FRWO); the Faculty of Environment of the University of Tehran; UN agencies in Iran including the UNDP and FAO Tehran.

Because of its achievements, MEPS has been praised by different government organizations on several occasions; selected as the best NGO in the 8th National Environmental Award by the DOE in 2005, selected as the most active NGO by FRWO in 2003. Mr. Abdollah Ashtari, the founder and the present Managing Director, a well-known figure among environmental circles, was honoured to be selected as one of the 30 distinguished environmental activists of the country in 2008.

In 2002, with the purpose of setting up the first governmental mountain institution in Iran, MEPS proposed the establishment of a "Mountain Sub-Committee" (MSC) to the "National Committee for Sustainable Development" within DOE. MSC was later approved by the NCSD and started its activity in 2006.

In fostering its objectives for capacity building, MEPS has proposed the establishment of a three-unit course in the Faculty of Environment, University of Tehran which is being followed by MEPS.

Based on the United Nations General Assembly decision for designating 11 December as the "International Mountain Day" (IMD), MEPS has acted as the Focal point for the observation and celebration of IMD annually held in Iran.

In May 2012, MEPS was selected as one of the three qualified NGOs by UNDP to implement the Yazd province section of an International Project (Integrated Natural Resources Management, MENARID) simultaneously put into force in six countries of Middle East and North Africa.