Marzieh Hajjarian; Omid Hosseinzadeh; Farangiz Khalledi
Volume 14, Issue 3 , October 2016, , Pages 1-12
Introduction: The phenomenon of deforestation is considered seriously by researchers as one of the most important issues in forest management. So far, many efforts have been made to identify the causes of deforestation and effective solutions have been proposed to reduce it. This study aimed to identify ...
Introduction: The phenomenon of deforestation is considered seriously by researchers as one of the most important issues in forest management. So far, many efforts have been made to identify the causes of deforestation and effective solutions have been proposed to reduce it. This study aimed to identify and prioritize the causes of deforestation of the Hyrcanian forests in northern Iran. The results of this research can provide a basis for understanding the conditions facing Hyrcanian forest management and help managers to make more detailed plans. Material and methods: In this research, group decision making was used to identify and rank the causes of deforestation. For this purpose, two types of questionnaires were designed. The first questionnaire was used to identify causes of deforestation of Hyrcanian forest while the second questionnaire was developed with the aim of Pairwise comparisons. The data obtained from the second questionnaire was used to rank the causes of deforestation in the Hyrcanian forests using the AHP, TOPSIS, ELECTRE III and SAW methods. Finally, to achieve accurate ranking, the final ranking was done using integration methods. Results and discussion: The results showed that the weight of anthropogenic deforestation causes is much greater than the weight of natural deforestation causes; the weight of anthropogenic destruction factors was much more than natural factors. This shows that a large percentage of forest destruction in Hyrcanian forest is result of mismanagement of this forest and many human destruction factors can be stopped or modified and, while the natural factors are lower and under control, those effects can also be modified. Among the human causes of deforestation, illegal timber harvesting, invasion of forests, livestock grazing in forests and timber harvesting were the most important causes of deforestation according to forestry projects. After these factors, harvesting of wood for fuel, arson or spontaneous fires, early replacement of management and non-systematic exploitation of forests and construction development activities (road construction) were the main causes of deforestation in Hyrcanian forests. The most important of these deforestation causes were pests and spontaneous fires, respectively. In all four ranking methods (AHP, TOPSIS, ELECTRE III and SAW) ranked first to fourth respectively invasion of forested areas, The presence of livestock in the forest, illegally harvesting of wood from the forest and harvest wood as fuel, respectively. This indicates that these factors’ ranks have high stability and the total weight of each of these factors is high compared to the next factor, which means the impact of these factors on the destruction of the Hyrcanian forest is important. Conclusion: The results showed that success in the Hyrcanian forest protection plans depends on the cooperation of local and indigenous communities; because many of the environmental threats that cause destruction of the forests are the result of human activities, the success in most natural resource-related and the environmental projects depends on economic and social situations associated with the local and indigenous community living in the region.