The University of Zanjan, founded in 1975, is one the largest universities of Iran, with over 10,000 students. It is one of the top comprehensive public universities in the country and is committed to contributing to both scientific knowledge and the development of society. The university has five main faculties, including Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities, Arts and Architecture and Science, with 400 permanent and full-time academic members.

The institution has been consistently ranked among the top 47 greenest university campuses in the world and the greenest university of Iran, which follows sustainability indicators for infrastructure as well as energy, research, education, waste management, water management and transportation. The university is in a semiarid region and over the last 40 years the university has expanded its tree cultivation to over 72 hectares, and its total vegetation area now covers over 94% of total campus area.

The university has also increased and improved its investment in sustainability, smart buildings and water management in both buildings and vegetated areas and has conducted a third of its research on topics like integrated watershed and management of biodiversity, natural resources and soil. The institution conducts research, education and extension activities on protecting, restoring and promoting sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably managing forests, combating desertification and halting and reversing land degradation and biodiversity loss.

The institution plans to restore biodiversity and actively support local wildlife following the ‘green management strategy’ which, in addition to various administrative processes and physical upgrades, entails a series of cultural engagements and educational activities in order to increase social awareness around sustainability. In addition, the university has hosted national, regional and international events with numerous partners on issues directly connected to biodiversity.

By the end of 2021 the institution plans to establish the International Research and Extension Center of Sustainable Development and Natural Resources.

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