International Symposium on
Drylands Ecology and Human Security

Go to Arabic site :-)

© 2006 NDRD        Imprint        Disclaimer


Evaluation of Regional Policies on Sustainable Range Management,
Using Integrated Optimization Model of Ecological, Socio-economic Factors:
Case Study, Eastern Azarbayejan, Iran

S.R. Fallah Shamsi1 , A. Saeed2, H. Sobhani2, A. A. Darvishsefat2,  A. Faraji-Dana3

1Department of Desert Region Management, College of Agriculture, Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran

2 Department of Forestry and Forest Economics, School of Agriculture and Natural Resources
Tehran University, Karaj, Iran

3 Department of Economics, Tehran University, Tehran, Iran


Socio-economic policies affect regional land use pattern by affecting land owners decisions by selecting new land use types, changing crops types and even expanding their farm area illegally toward natural range, shrubs and forests in neighborhoods. It has encouraged resource managers to concentrate their efforts to measure the effects of the policies, using quantitative indicators such as values and monetary scale. So it is necessary to develop a policy evaluation method that considers all major land uses, their socio-economic relations and ecological potential of the region simultaneously. Main hypothesis of the research is that a comprehensive mathematical model, including ecological, economic and social variables and constraints, could evaluate regional policies on land use management quantitatively.

The study area is about 28000 ha of Kalaibar-Chai watershed, located in eastern Azarbayejan, Iran. Accelerating changes of land use/land cover in natural Rangeland, replacing by cultivation area and regional policies to support increasing cereal production are the main motivation of selecting the region as the study area. Socio-economic information has been collected, posing rural residents by an open questionnaire gathering details of production procedure in different land uses, including benefits, costs and technology. It has been collected through a two-stage field survey of 19 villages, including 300 sample questionnaires. Ecological information, summarized in thematic maps, has been analyzed in Arcview GIS3.2 to assess regional potential of land for different kind of land uses through a spatial and SQL modeling. In this research, a Comprehensive Mathematical Optimization Model has been established based on simplex method of linear programming to optimize regional land use pattern economically. It contains an objective function of land use including 106 variables and 43 ecological-socio-economic constraints. The Variables are different type of current land uses in different village territory and their coefficients have been calculated using benefit/cost analysis of the uses, extracted from the questionnaires. The constraints, describing internal land use relations, land use yield and regional industries, ecological-socio-economic potentials and restrictions have been considered in the hard and soft constraints of the model.

The optimum amount of 5192, 1019, 94 and 9354 ha of rain-fed barley, walnut orchard, park management and rangeland use have been assessed in regional pattern respectively. The sensitivity analysis of the variable has indicated the range of changing variables and changing coefficients of model to retain the optimum solution of the model. It also could be used for evaluating different policies on rangeland management and other land uses. The effect of land allocation for conservation has been entered as an environmental constraint in to the model. It has reduced the objective function about 20 billion monetary unit (Rls.) and reduced amount of soil erosion about 50000 ton per year throughout the region. So it could be considered that making such a policy how much will worth in regional level. It has been recommended to establish a more comprehensive non-linear model, including all current land uses and regional, national and international variables and constraints to simulate expected consequences of making regional policies more realistically.

Keywords: Economic, Policy, Range, Optimization, Land use, Iran