7. The challenges faced by Bakhtiari nomads in local management of pastures in the Tangsayad – Sabzkouh Biosphere reserves, Iran

Mohammadifar, Bahar
Habibabadi, Mortaza Ashrafi
Soltanolkotabi, Mohamad
Humans, now, in the future and for the rest of their lives, need the Earth’s natural resources, particularly pastures, as they are the most vital platform for environmental sustainable development and ecological phenomena and the main source of traditional animal husbandry and livestock feeding systems. Today, several research results are revealing the importance of local knowledge of exploiters such as nomads, who are the main beneficiaries of these pastures, in reviving these areas. This study aimed to identify challenges facing the traditional system of pasture management by nomads, the policies of the current government and pasture management with existing methods in order to provide recommendations and solutions to combine indigenous and formal knowledge in line with sustainable management of pastures. For this purpose, the Bakhtiari nomads, settled in all areas of Tangsayad – Sabzkouh biosphere reserves in different seasons, have been considered as the population of study. Bibliographical and field research was carried out. The research was conducted using a combination of qualitative and quantitative data collection techniques (group discussions, focussed groups, semi-structured interviews and structured interviews via a questionnaire). Geographic area of research is the Tangsayad – Sabzkouh biosphere reserve in the provinces of Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari. Overall, results show that some government policies such as settlement of nomads, issuing rules without prior research in pasture ownership, unsustainable rural development, lack of interest of younger nomadic generations in accepting traditional systems of pasture management and outdated laws are the main challenges ahead of traditional pasture management systems by nomads. In order to solve the problems in pasture management, it is important to consider favourability of indigenous and formal knowledge on the grounds of improved livelihood of nomad and rural communities, preserving and revitalising indigenous knowledge, reviewing and revocation of conflicting and contradictory laws, laws of land ownership, completion of the audit and issuing of updated documents, freehold pastures and natural resources laws, producing educational content 95 in the field of indigenous knowledge and enabling the new generation to become familiar with benefits of this knowledge ​
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