Document Type : Original Article
Department of Agricultural Extension and Education, Ramin Agricultural and Natural Resources University of Khuzestan, Ahvaz, Iran.
As the largest international wetland in Iran, Shadegan Wetland is one of the most important and valuable wetlands in the country and, even, the world. The widespread nature of the wetland, its natural character, high abundance of plant species, animals and its habitats has brought tremendous value to the wetland. In recent years, this valuable wetland has been exposed to drying up and destruction due to natural and human factors. The livelihood of rural households in the area is in all respects indebted to Shadegan Wetland: The death of the wetland will be accompanied by the death of their livelihood. One of the ways to reduce the vulnerability of marginalized people in Shadegan Wetland is to emphasize on their adaptation behaviors. In this regards, the present study aimed to explore beneficiaries Conservation Behavior against drought effects in Shadegan Wetlands based on vulnerability theory.
Material and methods:
The present study in terms of its nature and objectives is practical, in terms of data collection, is a descriptive survey and, in terms of analyzing the data, is a correlation study. The total population were the rural operators living in the central part of the town and Khnafereh village in Shadegan City, Khuzestan Province (Iran). They consisted of eight villages with 2319 household operators (N=2319). A random-quota method was used as sampling (n=124) and data were gathered via the use of a research-based questionnaire. The reliability of the questionnaire was confirmed by calculating Cronbach’s alpha coefficient as greater than 0.76. The validity of the questionnaire was confirmed by a panel of experts, and the data were analyzed using SPSSv20 and AMOSv20.
Results and discussion:
According to the results, 47.6 percent of the beneficiaries of the wetland show an irresponsible behaviour towards the vulnerability of natural and human hazard and 52.4 percent of them have responsible behaviour. Results of the study showed that sensitivity has a significantly positive effect on vulnerability (β=0.377) and conservation behaviour (β=0.208). Exposure has a significantly positive effect on vulnerability (β=0.492) and conservation behaviour (β=0.3). Also, the results revealed that exposure, sensitivity and adaptive capacity predict a 41% variation in vulnerability. Exposure, sensitivity and vulnerability predict a 20 % variation in conservation behaviour.
Thus, it can be concluded that exposure of the beneficiaries to the drought conditions of Shadegan Wetland and their sensitivity to drought have resulted in vulnerability and adaptation behaviour among them. Hence, exposure to wetland droughts can have both direct and indirect effects on their lives. For example, changing product performance in response to drought can be one of the direct effects of this phenomenon. Also, an increase in unemployment resulting from the drying of the wetland due to the reduction of Karun and Jarahi rivers is one of its indirect effects. Therefore, the residents of the area are going to respond to these and this will lead to the adaptation behaviour of the beneficiaries.