Investigation and ranking of Social Driver’s Factors of Desertification in the Sistan plain

Document Type : Complete scientific research article


1 Professor of Gorgan univ. Agricultural sciences and natural resources

2 PhD Candidate in De-Desertification. Gorgan Univercsity of agricultural sciences and natural resources.

3 Associate Professor, Gorgan University of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources.


The concept of ‘desertification’ is related to loss of ecosystem services cause to influencing of human disturbances and climatic variations almost in dry regions. Desertification based on its driver and geographical condition can change ecosystem downward in stable statue. Desertification control needs to identify its drivers and causes. This paper investigates the societal drivers of Land degradation and desertification in Sistan region in southeast of Iran in Afghanistan border proximity as a famous desert region in the world. We consider some of the recurrent anthropogenic disturbances and societal drivers that specifically contribute to the Sistan desertification. For this purpose, we have fallowed three step of survey. Questionnaires for each step of surveying of land degradation drivers including: i) collecting overall factors ii) selecting candidate factors in 6 categories and iii) identification and introducing and ranking the priority of factors based on their importance role in desertification statue by using of analyzing hierarchy process (AHP), and statistical methods. data were collected in collaboration with managers, experts and administrators that are related to combating desertification at the provincial level. Based on correlation statistics and multivariate analyses, the average contribution (%) of group to land degradation and desertification of the Sistan region, social participation deficit exhibited the highest fraction (20.41%), followed by cultural issues (19.32%), migration and land abandonment (17.36%), knowledge weakness (16.76%), social values (13.12%), while the contribution from the rest, land ownership are 13.008 percent. also more than 18 factors out of 38 resulted as significant in affecting land degradation and desertification in the Sistan region. Among them, the most important were Lack of system for using of local wetland’s goods and services, farrow land cultivation, traditional farming, untrusting to experts knowledge, monoculture of cereals, ignorance to indigenous knowledge.In agro-ecosystems affected by desertification, enhancing food security by improving agriculture, empowering rural people, help to livelihood diversity, and promoting sustainable use of resources is a major step towards slowing down or reversing desertification. Policy must address multiple aspect of socio-cultural as causes of land degradation and desertification that are variable due to different environmental condition. Whenever the goal is to land degradation has to be addressed and possibly halted, it is required to expert close to stakeholder and beneficiaries so knowledge exchange can be facilitated and improved, cooperation, levels of bureaucracy and trust can be optimized, and there can be great benefits for all. Corrective policies in such region with high rate of land degradation and desertification should focus on: identifying of land degradation causes in advance then, decreasing current land degradation and finally remedying the effects.


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