Conservation of Biodiversity in Central Zagros Landscapes

The project aims to ensure protection from exploitation and encourage sustainable use of all biodiversity, renewable natural resources and ecological processes

What is the project about:

The Central Zagros Mountains contain globally significant biodiversity.  Topographical relief and climatic conditions have led to diverse ecosystems and habitats in the area. This has created a home for a vast range of species, which includes over 2,000 species of higher plants and several endangered and endemic mammal species.

However, in recent decades, the biodiversity has been declining and is now highly threatened.  This is largely due to demographic changes, changing economic and social systems, and the loss of traditional management and land-use practices.

This project aims to conserve biodiversity in the Central Zagros Landscape Conservation Zone which cuts across four provinces.  The project works with the agriculture, forestry, rangelands, water and tourism sectors to mainstream biodiversity conservation.  In so doing, these sectors incorporate conservation and ecological sustainability measures into their own policies, programs and sectoral practices.

The project aims to ensure protection from exploitation and encourage sustainable use of all biodiversity, renewable natural resources and ecological processes.

A part of the overall goals of the project relates to the involvement of local communities in directly protecting biodiversity in the Central Zagros region

What have we accomplished so far:

  • Mainstreaming of biodiversity: With the support of the project, the Central Zagros Mountain (CZM) Conservation and Sustainable Development Programme covering an area of 3,100,000 hectares of Central Zagros Mountain was finalized and approved in the High Council of Environment (HCE) and was also included in the 6th Iran National Development Plan under article 48, with an estimated budget for establishment of CZM management system at 1,364,085 Million Rials. If/when approved, the project will have contributed to the establishment of a full-scale Central Zagros Mountains management system and program.
  • Capacity development: The project drafted the Capacity Development Plan for Central Zagros Mountains Management (CZM) System and developed a management toolkit which has been incorporated into regional planning covering the four provinces covering the Zagros Mountains. The toolkit includes Sustainable Resource Use guidelines for agriculture, aquaculture, forest, rangeland, tourism, water, Environmental Impact Assessment, solid waste and effluent management as well as land use capability;
  • Research and knowledge development: Plans and strategies for Major Green Initiatives (MGIs) were developed as sustainable resource use programmes. These include Sustainable Life of Nomads; Green Village; Green Forestry; Green Rangeland; Green Tourism; and Green Agriculture. These programmes will be implemented after injection of national resources through provinces.
  • Piloting: Establishment of four pilot Community Management Areas in Kor, Bazoft, Vanak-Khersan and Dena through a consultative process operating 32 projects and supporting participatory planning and community groups including women’s groups. 

Source: IR.UNDP, 2017