From Paper Parks to Real Conservations: Case Study of Social Capital in Iran’s Biodiversity Conservation

Document Type: Original Research Paper

Authors

1 Department of Social Informatics, Kyoto University, Yoshida-honmachi, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto, Japan

2 Department of forestry, University of lorestan, lorestan, Iran

Abstract

The proposition that natural areas need protection from the destructive actions of people is
widely accepted. This paper examines Iran’s e-society attitudes and capital towards biodiversity conservation
and evaluates economically Iran’s national parks (NPs). 2,121 respondents answered an online questionnaire conducted in summer 2012. The majority of respondents had visited one of Iran’s NPs. Almost all respondents were willing to voluntarily participate in conservation and environmental projects; willing to pay for protection; willing to increase the protected areas; willing to visit the NPs in the future; and they were mostly young. There is a resurgent interest in conservation amongst Iranian citizen scientists. Respondents showed that they could collaborate for resource management. They think ecological problems and solutions are human problems and not simply biological problems. Biodiversity conservation in Iran has been threatened by mismanagement, lack of funds, park-other organization conflict, lack of biodiversity awareness, and lack of public participation. Conservation biologists can help engage Iran’s society in conservation efforts by striving to achieve three goals: adjusting the public’s perception of biodiversity, increasing public participation in biodiversity conservation, and encouraging ecotourism by tour packages to develop conservation and local. Furthermore, the government should see the human and environmental condition as one intricate system. The governor must focus on conservation projects that engage the urban populace and support the goal of developing a biodiversity ethic. It should consider updating management, enhancing environmental educational programs, designing environmental volunteer plans, treating ecotourism tour packages, installing real collaborative principles, and establishing co-management and community-based conservation.

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