Determinants of Access to Wetland Ecosystem Services-Application of IPBES Framework and Access Theory (Case Study: Zaribar International Wetland in Marivan County)

Document Type : Original Article


Department of Agricultural Extension and Education, Faculty of Agriculture, Bu-Ali Sina University, Hamedan, Iran


Introduction: Understanding access to natural ecosystems and identifying potential priorities for harnessing the benefits of nature will be crucial factors in reducing inequality of access. Additionally, this understanding will inform the future planning and management of protected areas. The degree to which an individual can access ecosystem services depends on a complex range of mechanisms including social relations, institutions, capabilities, property rights, and various capitals. Various frameworks have been developed to conceptualize these linkages and describe the relationships between ecosystem services and human well-being, which include social and natural sciences and objective and subjective criteria, One of the significant and important frameworks in this field is the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). In this study, the factors outlined by Ribot and Peluso (2003) in the access theory were integrated with components of the IPBES framework, providing a theoretical foundation for investigating the determinants of access to ecosystem services in the Zaribar Wetland.
Material and Methods: The current research is applied, qualitative, and has an inductive approach. In order to analyze the data obtained from the semi-structured interviews, the content analysis method was used. The study area of the research is the villages around Zaribar Wetland in Marivan City, there are 10 villages with a population of 2853 households, which are in close interaction and depend on the services of the Wetland. Non-probability purposeful snowball sampling was used to select the investigated individuals or samples. The selection of samples continued until the adequacy and the theoretical saturation of the data were reached, and finally the researcher reached the theoretical saturation by conducting 22 interviews. In this study, Guba and Lincoln's four criteria—validity, transferability, reliability, and verifiability (Guba & Lincoln, 1989) were employed to assess the validity of the research. Data analysis was structured around the 'IPBES framework' and the 'access theory'.
Results and Discussion: The process of qualitative content analysis was used to analyze the factors affecting residents' access to Zaribar wetland ecosystem services in Marivan City. First, 106 primary codes were extracted. By multiple revisions and integration of codes based on similarity during several stages, five main categories and 17 subcategories were extracted. The five main categories and themes identified in this analysis were institutional-management, structural-communication, infrastructural-technological, economic-capital and environmental-contextual.
Conclusion: Access to ecosystem services in wetland communities, including those in Zaribar, is complex and dynamic, influenced by interwoven relationships and affected by economic, environmental, and other factors. The results of this study show that different regulations and organizational arrangements regarding people's access, instead of strengthening interaction and proper relationships, have caused different types of exchange relationships and unequal rights in the field of this ecosystem. Most ecosystem services are produced through both ecosystem processes and social actions, and thus their assessment cannot be separated from the social context in which they are embedded. As a result, it is recommended that more ecosystem service research be done with process-oriented, context-specific and integrated approaches, based on the recognition of the complexity of social-ecological realities.


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