Nasim Kheirkhah Ghehi; Bahram Malek Mohammadi; Hamidreza Jafari
Introduction: Landscape connectivity plays an essential role in the conservation of protected areas. The Alborz wild sheep (Ovis orientalis × Ovis vignei) is the dominant species in Varjin Protected Area. The population of the species has been decreased during the last 20 years due to habitat loss ...
Introduction: Landscape connectivity plays an essential role in the conservation of protected areas. The Alborz wild sheep (Ovis orientalis × Ovis vignei) is the dominant species in Varjin Protected Area. The population of the species has been decreased during the last 20 years due to habitat loss and fragmentation. So far, many studies have been done on the environmental impact assessment of urban area developments on the protected area, but there is still a lack of habitat connectivity and quality analysis in the area. Based on the spatial location of Varjin Protected Area, connectivity analysis can help conservation planners to identify key patches and corridors that more than others, contribute to upholding species dispersal. The aim of this research is to prioritize habitat patches for conservation by analyzing the connectivity of the habitat patches and considering habitat quality as the second important factor in species distribution. Applying this method could lead to better conservation prioritization between habitat patches.Material and methods: Landsat 7 and 8 satellite images have been used as inputs for the Habitat Quality model and Connectivity analysis. The connectivity metric was analyzed by calculating the probability of connectivity (dPC) and betweenness centrality (dBC) at different spatial scales of landscape and patch. All the analyses have been done in Graphab open-source software using graph theory and applying network analysis containing nodes and edges. The threshold was pre-defined for the species, and all the calculations were based on Euclidian distance. This research used the InVEST Habitat Quality model to analyze the spatial status of habitat quality. Finally, spatial analysis was performed by ArcGIS 10.4 and the maps were classified based on natural breaks.Results and discussion: Results demonstrated that the value of dPC was between 0 to 0.796, and the value of dBC varied from 0 to 7.58E+11. Different importance values have been obtained for all 23 patches. This suggested that patches 1 and 4 showed the highest dBC and dPC metric values. The values of InVEST habitat quality decreased in the south and northeast of the area, respectively, due to proximity to urban areas and other threats. Patches with good performance in improving connectivity and higher habitat quality values were identified. By overlaying the output values of the maps, prioritized patches were recognized and suggested to be placed under protection.Conclusion: Patches with a high level of connectivity and habitat quality were located in the east and southeast of the region. This research has taken a novel step toward conservation by using connectivity analysis and habitat quality as an ecosystem service in protected areas. Landscape and patch scales as two spatial indices can be used in other regions and for other essential species. As the Varjin Protected Area is located between two important ecological areas, Lar National Park and the Central Alborz Protected Area, the priority of patches would be changed by a great extent when taking those areas under consideration.
Payam Yadollahi; Babak Zohrabi; Hamid Reza Jafari; Nemat Hassani; Ali Asghar Mortazavi; Adel Ghasemi
Background: One of the major challenges of groundwater is its over-consumption in agriculture. Therefore, it is necessary to pay attention to water resources management to prevent the drop in groundwater levels. Chahardoli Plain in Hamadan Province has faced an increase in groundwater abstraction in ...
Background: One of the major challenges of groundwater is its over-consumption in agriculture. Therefore, it is necessary to pay attention to water resources management to prevent the drop in groundwater levels. Chahardoli Plain in Hamadan Province has faced an increase in groundwater abstraction in recent years due to the lack of surface water resources. In this study, due to limited water resources and irregular use of groundwater, the drop in water level and its management in the aquifer of Chahardoli Plain of Asadabad was considered. Material and methods: This is an applied study in which both documentary and survey methods were used for data collection. In the documentary method, the statistics of annual rainfall in a 27-year period of the General Meteorological Department of the province, and the amount of groundwater level drop (43 wells) were used. In the survey method, interviews with farmers that used groundwater resources of Chahardoli Plain (56 subjects), experts of the regional water company (40 subjects), and the necessary tools were designed to investigate the decrease in groundwater level and its side effects. Cronbach's alpha of the instrument was 0.86, which showed that it had good reliability. Results and discussion: The results showed that the groundwater level has dropped by an average of 67.1 cm per year over 27 years. In contrast, the rainfall chart showed an average of 303.3 mm of precipitation per year. The overall slope of the equation for the drop in groundwater level data was -0.77 m and the overall slope of the equation for the rainfall data was 0.083 mm. This means that the slope of the groundwater was higher than the slope of the increase in rainfall. Meanwhile, the SPI index was negative in the first 21 years. The correlation coefficient between the drop in water level and precipitation was equal to r = 0.14 and p = 0.08. This showed that the relationship between groundwater level drop and precipitation was not significant. In order to interview farmers and experts on water management problems, according to the results, nine factors were examined and prioritized from the perspective of participants. Participating in farm water management courses from the experts' point of view and the existence of educational programs on radio and television for the farmers were the two main priorities. The priorities of farmers and experts regarding the factors of responsibility, risk-taking, and understanding the severity of water resource degradation were quite similar. In the case of water resources protection, non-leveling of lands was the first priority of both groups of experts and farmers. In the planning section, the first priority of farmers and experts was to develop optimal water distribution laws for the optimal use of water resources. In the case of water productivity management, the first priority of both was to replace rain-fed crops with products with high water requirements. In financial problems, according to experts, the lack of a proper and timely budget was the first priority, while farmers considered it to be reducing the price of manufactured products at the time of sale. Conclusion: The results showed that management problems were related to the drop in groundwater levels in the region. Considering the consensus of experts and farmers on taking responsibility for the destruction of water resources and the effectiveness of educational programs, it seems that the preparation of educational programs on radio and television, and improving educational programs of regional water departments and agricultural institutions will increase the desire to maintain groundwater. According to the results, the decrease of groundwater level is not related to the amount of precipitation and human factors have a more important role in this regard. Therefore, all users of the plain, i.e. farmers, experts, officials in charge of water resources, agricultural jihad, and the environmental organizations have a role in reducing this problem. Therefore, these organizations should prioritize their goals in codified and integrated plans for short-term and long-term plans to conserve groundwater resources. Also, according to the results of the research, the downward trend of the aquifer level will continue in the next few years, which necessitates a serious review of water abstraction laws in the plain.
Hamidreza Jafari; Koshesh Othman Soleiman
Introduction: Today, the energy sector has an important role in modern society, and a comprehensive understanding of its performance is needed not only to decide on domestic energy policies but also to develop sustainable economic policies. With more than 60 billion barrels of oil reserves and about ...
Introduction: Today, the energy sector has an important role in modern society, and a comprehensive understanding of its performance is needed not only to decide on domestic energy policies but also to develop sustainable economic policies. With more than 60 billion barrels of oil reserves and about 200 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, the Kurdistan region has attracted the attention of industrialized nations who need more energy of oil and natural gas. It is the eighth largest oil-producing region in the world that is divided into more than 57 oilfields. Considering the importance of this area and the vast environmental impacts of oil and gas, the purpose of this study was to identify the influential environmental factors in oil and gas policymaking. Material and methods: The present study was applied research that used field evaluating and interviews with experts to obtain the required information. In this research, data were collected by the Delphi method and through a questionnaire. The SWOT & PESTLE model was used to analyze the information and identify the effective environmental factors in oil and gas policymaking. Results and discussion: According to the results of the internal factor evaluation matrix, the number of weaknesses was higher and the oil and gas industry and environmental experts gave it the highest score. Results also indicated that the oil and gas industries, although having different strengths and effectiveness, but weaknesses were more effective. Strengths such as the existence of vast oil and gas reserves in the Kurdistan region, the existence of relative democracy, the preservation of civil and political rights, economic development, and the growth of GNP and GDP, obtained the highest scores. On the other hand, deficiency in strategic planning and macroeconomic policies, lack of a coherent and robust management system in line with financial and contracts transparency, and the ineffectiveness of the tax and customs system were the weaknesses. Therefore, it can be concluded that the oil and gas industry, despite its normal growth and development, needs to use great strategies to prioritize environmental preservation, sustainable development, transparency, and management. Also, according to the results obtained in the external factors assessment matrix, it was observed that the oil and gas industries had more opportunities than threats. According to the scores given by experts, the most important opportunities and threats were the future energy needs of the world and the lack of political boundaries and connection to the free seas of the world. Conclusions: It was observed that the strategic position of the oil and gas industries in the Kurdistan region was in the conservative strategies section (overcoming the opportunities points on threats and weaknesses on the strengths) with the approach of environmental protection and preservation policies to achieve sustainable development. Therefore, macro strategies are proposed in line with the current conditions for the development of oil and gas industries, and the presentation and implementation of environmental policies, so that we reduce the existing threats using existing opportunities and turn the weaknesses into strengths.
Ardavan Zarandian; Ahmad Reza Yavari; Hamid Reza Jafari; Hamid Amirnejad
Volume 13, Issue 4 , January 2016, , Pages 97-112
Quantifying and anticipation of the impacts of changes in waterrelated services caused by human activities is a complicated aspect of environmental assessment which can be facilitated by the application of dynamic and spatial models of ecosystem services. This paper aims to examine the application of ...
Quantifying and anticipation of the impacts of changes in waterrelated services caused by human activities is a complicated aspect of environmental assessment which can be facilitated by the application of dynamic and spatial models of ecosystem services. This paper aims to examine the application of the WW PSS model in the Sarvelat and Javaherdasht forested landscape in order to calculate the water balance and water- related services of the ecosystem in a baseline condition and, then, to measure the impacts of changes in natural forest cover on the services' quantity and quality based on a scenario developed. The result of running the model indicates that the surfaces covered with dense forest have decreased by 29% in recent 13 years, but the semi-dense and poor forest covers have increased by 14% and 15%, respectively. Then, the impacts of such structural changes on water services were measured and this showed an overall decrease in water balance of 1.5 mm/yr and an increase in runoff of 12,197,528 m3/yr which is caused by a reduction in evapotranspiration due to cutting forest trees. In the final stage, the environmental consequences of changes in ecosystem services were quantified by the model which depicts an increase in soil erosion of 0.57 mm/yr on average and exacerbation of the potential of water contaminate distribution across the study landscape.