Lake Urmia in the northwestern corner of Iran is one of the largest permanent hypersaline lakes in the world and the largest lake in the Middle East. It extends as much as 140 km from north to south and is as wide as 85 km east to west during high water period. The lake was declared a Wetland of International Importance by the Ramsar Convention in 1971 and designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1976.
What is the Conservation Society of Monavale (COSMO) all about? COSMO (constituted in 2005) grew out of the Monavale Residents' Environmental Action Group (formed in 2001) which was intent upon preventing development and degradation on Monavale Vlei, an important wetland of outstanding natural beauty and enormous biodiversity.