Introduction: The study of the world's environmental situation reflects that there is abundant evidence that many ecosystems have suffered from over-exploitation and mismanagement, to the point where their long-term viability, and thus their ability to provide services, is at risk (The Millennium Ecosystem ...
Introduction: The study of the world's environmental situation reflects that there is abundant evidence that many ecosystems have suffered from over-exploitation and mismanagement, to the point where their long-term viability, and thus their ability to provide services, is at risk (The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, 2005). This is commonly explained by a lack of institutions, including markets, which could otherwise guide the supply and demand for ES (Arrow et al., 2000). Externalities, a lack of well-defined property rights and limited information hamper efforts to optimize ES provision between those who benefit from an ES and those who affect its provision (Engel et al., 2008; Ferraro and Kiss, 2002). Payments for ecosystem services (PES) programs are one potential solution to this problem. PES programs use conditional payments to encourage individuals and communities to undertake environmentally beneficial land management actions. They help internalize the benefits associated with enhancing or maintaining ES to ensure that land managers face incentives concordant with the interests of ES users (Arrow et al., 2000; van Noordwijk and Leimona, 2010). To improve the likelihood of achieving intended environmental benefits, PES programs should be designed to suit local circumstances, both in regard to the environmental problem at hand and the social context (Jack et al., 2008; Swallow et al., 2009). An important part of adapting PES to a particular circumstance is taking into account the preferences of those targeted for participation (Petheram and Campbell, 2010). Therefore, it seems to be possible to implement it in many plains and ecosystems of the country and minimize the problems of resource mismanagement.Materials and methods: Qazvin Plain because of a singular position of the susceptible areas of the country for agricultural production and hence it is important that unfortunately in recent years with the problems of the destruction of the ecosystem and the need for the proper management. In this regard, in this research, the priorities of land degradation in Qazvin plain are determined according to the guidelines of the Lada project, and the type of payment plan for this region is determined by different payment patterns for ecosystem services. Finally, using the SWOT approach, strategies for implementing the PES program are being developed to improve Qazvin plain.Results and discussion: firstly based on the guidelines of the Lada project, the priorities for land degradation in the Qazvin plain, water loss in the agricultural sector (inappropriate irrigation methods), excessive exploitation of wells and drilling of unauthorized wells and drought were determined. Then, through different payment patterns for ecosystem services, payment for Watershed services was identified as a suitable model for the region. Finally, SWOT methodology was developed to implement PES program in order to improve Qazvin plain watershed. The results show that suitable strategies for implementing ecosystem services in Qazvin plain watershed are: determining and implementing the appropriate cultivation pattern, providing appropriate irrigation methods, preventing excessive use of wells and eliminating unauthorized wells.Conclusion: Payment plans for ecosystem services between the two government groups or other stakeholders as ecosystem service shoppers and farmers are implemented as vendors of this service. Therefore, it is suggested that the government do haggle with farmers to implement proposed policies and provide incentives for their assistance in providing Services to Qazvin plain watershed via use of the below cases:Use the appropriate cultivation pattern; use the appropriate irrigation methods; preventing excessive use of wells and eliminating unauthorized wells.
Zeinab Karimi; Vahedberdi Sheikh; Amir Sadoddin; Naghmeh Mobarghaee Dinan
Introduction: Increasing the atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration is a major cause of climate change that has led to degradation in natural ecosystems and incidence of various environmental problems such as imbalances in hydrologic, nutrients, and carbon cycles in nature. Land surface cover, which ...
Introduction: Increasing the atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration is a major cause of climate change that has led to degradation in natural ecosystems and incidence of various environmental problems such as imbalances in hydrologic, nutrients, and carbon cycles in nature. Land surface cover, which has an important role in carbon sequestration, has been strongly influenced by human activities and gradually degraded over time and created a number of challenges in the behavior of watersheds. Therefore, worldwide rehabilitation and restoration of watersheds through the implementation of a variety of mechanical and biological measures have been considered by policymakers, managers, and technical experts. For instance, various watershed management projects (tree sapling, permanent forage cultivation, and terracing) have been implemented with the participation of stakeholders to improve conditions in the Dehchenashk sub-watershed of the Chehl-Chai watershed, where is considered as the most critically degraded watershed of the Golestan Province, northeastern Iran. Therefore, this research was carried out to evaluate the effects of land cover and various management measures on the amount of carbon sequestration in surface soil layer through a comparative analysis between two sub-watersheds of Dehchenashk (treatment) and Chamanie-bala (control).Material and methods: In the present study, the effect of management measures on carbon sequestration in areas under management measures (treatment) and types of land use (forest, croplands, and orchards) was studied. The croplands and orchards as controls and terracing and tree saplings activities (biological measures) as the treatment measures were compared in terms of carbon sequestration. Sampling was conducted using randomly selected plots along the defined transects. Within each plot, above-ground biomass was measured for crops and trees. Also, the effect of management measures on improving land cover and reducing soil erosion from viewpoints of the local stakeholders was carried out using the questionnaire survey.Results and discussion: The results showed that the average of biomass carbon sequestration (ton/ha) in both treatment and control sub-watersheds in dense (5.10 and 4.91), low-density (4.98 and 4.80), and degraded forests (4.27, 95 and 95) was more than walnut (Juglans regia) (3.08 and 2.85) and apple (Malus pumila) (2.21 and 2.00) orchards, and croplands cultivated with alfalfa (Medicago sativa) (1.55 and 1.50), wheat (Triticum aestivum) (1.40 and 1.32), lentil (Lens culinaris) (1.38 and 1.30), and barley (Hordeum vulgare) (1.26 and 1.19), respectively. Regarding biological practices carried out in the treatment sub-watershed, the average carbon sequestration in walnut orchards (2.72) was higher than pear (Pyrus communis) (1.88) and cherry (Cerasus avium) (1.66) orchards and terraced lands cultivated with alfalfa (1.65), wheat (1.50) and lentil (1.40). Also, statistical comparison using T-test between high density, low-density, and degraded forests and apple orchards and barley croplands showed no statistically significant difference at 5% level. The amount of sequestrated biomass carbon in walnut, pear, and cherry orchards and terraced lands cultivated with lentil, alfalfa, and wheat showed significant differences in comparison with the control lands. Moreover, the evaluation of viewpoints of the local stakeholders on the effect of management measures implemented in the Deh-Chanashk sub-watershed, indicated that they believe that the implemented watershed management practices have played a significant role in improving the sub-watershed condition in terms of land cover, soil stabilization, and soil erosion reduction.Conclusion: Therefore, among the watershed management measures undertaken, extending the orchard plantation, particularly walnut plantation, to croplands on the steep slopes is recommended as a high priority management option across the study region due to higher ability to carbon sequestration as well as soil erosion prevention.