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Analysing Pressures and Threats on the Southern Wetlands of Iran with the Application of RAPPAM Methodology (Case study: Khuzestan Province)

  • Authors
    Sabzghabaei G.
    Riazi B.
    Khorasani N.
    Karami M.
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  • gnest_01468_published.pdf
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Wetlands are sensitive ecosystems. They provide various services to man, but have been degraded to a large extent. Wetlands are of great importance, therefore they should be evaluated and monitored periodically in a planned way. Undoubtedly, identifying threatening factors for wetlands properly and accurately, based on their importance and the extent to which they affect the wetlands, can provide the right context for preventing and fighting against these factors, and also preparing and implementing plans related to the protection of wetlands, as well as their environmental management. Khuzestan province is located in the south west of Iran and has huge wetland ecosystems in it. In this study, first the most important factors of pressure and threat for four wetlands in Khuzestan province were identified based on the Delphi method. Then, the key factors identified were scored based on RAPPAM methodology. The results showed that there are 22 major pressure and threat factors in the Shadegan wetland, 15 factors in the Hoor_Al_Azim wetland, 10 factors in the Miangaran wetland and nine factors in the Bamdezh wetland. Factors such as road construction, dam construction, hunting, fishing, the discharge of urban and industrial sewage into wetlands, and drought have placed the highest level of pressure and threat imaginable upon the wetlands of the province. Analysing and comparing the cumulative rate (CR) of pressure and threat factors, which is the sum of the means of the scores obtained from pressure or threat factors for each area of wetlands, showed that among the wetlands of Khuzestan province, Hoor_Al_Azim wetland with a pressure factor of 458.5 CR and threat of 484.5 CR, and Miangaran wetland with a pressure factor of 204.5 CR and a threat of 209.5 CR have the highest and lowest scores of threats and pressure of among the other wetlands, respectively.

Therefore, Hoor_Al_Azim wetland should receive a higher degree of attention with respect to management, or reducing or eliminating stressful factors.