A review of mangrove value and conservation strategy by local communities in Hormozgan province, Iran
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S. Ghasemi, M. Zakari, H. Abdul-Hamid, E. Yusof, A. Danehkar & M. Nawaz Rajpar


Mangroves are forest community within the intertidal region of tropical and subtropical areas. This study provides the values, functions and attributes of mangrove ecosystem and the importance of the local people in biodiversity conservation in the mangrove of Gas and Hara Rivers Delta (GHRD) in the Iranian coastline of Oman Sea. This study indicated that mangroves of GHRD are greatly influenced by the coastal environment and fulfill important socio-economic and environmental functions, therefore, it is considered that the protection of this site from threats must be enfaced. This study also provides the state of key guidelines for protecting biodiversity of mangroves by the local people. Over-use, lack of identity of mangrove resource and lack of tools for mangrove economic evaluation are the main destruction factors of the mangrove in this region. This study suggested that the end goal is to involve communities in direct management of resources. Furthermore, this study highlighted the role of awareness-raising in local communities in GHRD biodiversity conservation. There should be a willingness to move from old ideas on the use of this natural resource by villager and other people, which are largely dependent on this ecosystem. Awareness-raising campaigns must be developed for local communities using local languages, religious leaders and cultural events.

Main Results and Conclusions:
  • The total economic value of mangroves in GHRD was assessed based on use and non-use values from local coastal communities (Fig. 1, 331)
    • Direct use: fisheries, mariculture (aquaculture), aquatic trade, pharmaceuticals, tourism/recreation, research/education, aesthetic, biological support to organisms, storm surge protection to coastal ecosystems, and carbon sequestration.
    • Non-use: endangered and charismatic species habitat, threatened mangrove habitat, and traditional use of habitat by local peoples (i.e. spiritual practices)
  • The above factors took into account the following ecosystem services and ranked them from “high - low” based on types of economic value (Table 2, 333):
    • High: wildlife resources, fisheries, flood and flow control, sediment retention, water quality maintenance, storm protection/wave breaker, micro-climate stabilization, recreation/tourism, and biological diversity.
    • Medium: forest resources, forage resources, groundwater discharge, shoreline stabilization, nutrient retention, external support, uniqueness to culture/heritage.
    • Low: water supply
  • The total economic value of GHRD mangroves is estimated between 10,000 – 20,000 US$/ha/yr (332).
  • Ecological uses of GHRD mangroves is given:
    • “Filtering system for run-off from the guts by root systems,
    • “The coastline protection from soil erosion by acting as wave breaks and mechanical structure seaward side against torrential storms,
    • “Control of pollution, naturally by filtering out industrial and human waste,
    • “Providing food, nesting and nursery areas for organisms, and
    • “To improves the water quality by trap debris, sediments, excess nutrients and toxicants through their natural filtering processes”(332).
  • Based on information gathered from the bird-conservation study within GHRD, “GHRD mangrove forest Hara protected mangrove forest area could be one of the `megadiversity’ places not only in Iran but also in the Middle East” (333).
  • Sources of threats to GHRD mangroves are as follows:
    • Lack of basic information regarding Iranian mangrove ecosystems (333)
    • Increasing human population density in coastal zones/coastal development (334)
    • Overuse (334)
    • Lack of tools for mangrove economic evaluation (334)
  • Goals for GHRD include: increasing public awareness of mangrove forest protection and connecting communities with NGOs or the government to implement mangrove protection programs to ultimately “involve communities in direct management of biodiversity in mangrove resources”(335).


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