AgriculturalLand Conversion in Northwest Iran

Document Type: Original Research Paper

Authors

1 Department ofAgricultural Development and Management, University of Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Geography, Ghent University, Belgium

Abstract

Agricultural Land Conversion (ALC) has been introduced as one of the most important factors
affecting ecosystem. This type of conversion has led to several challenges in agricultural development and
human life. Monitoring ALC plays a crucial role when dealing with such challenges. The main objective of this
studywas to monitor the trend ofALC in theQazvin province located in Northwest Iran from 1990 to 2010 using
remote sensing data. The results showed that 44,845 ha of agricultural lands (3.03%of the total agricultural lands
of the province) were converted to non-agricultural lands, of which, 32,033 and 10,243 ha (2.16% and 0.69% of
total agricultural lands of the province), were respectively transformed to saline lands and urban areas and
infrastructures. Our projection for 2030 shows that among other uses, the conversion of agricultural lands to the
saline lands and urban areas and infrastructures will stay most likely. However, the conversion probability for
irrigated and orchard lands to urban areas and infrastructures will be more than the saline lands while the
conversion probability for dry and rangelands to the saline lands will be more than urban areas and infrastructures.

Keywords