Wetlands are disappearing around the world including Iran due to climate change, water scarcity, prolonged drought, inappropriate water resources management and inefficient water use in different sectors.
The Sistan plain is located in south east of Iran and the north of the Sistan and Baluchestan province and one of the driest regions of Iran at the tail end of a river basin shared with Afghanistan. The Hamouns are transboundary wetlands on the Iran-Afghanistan border and cover three lakes: Hamoun-e Hirmand (entirely in Iran); the Hamoun-e Sabari on the border and shared by both countries; and the Hamoun-e Puzak, almost entirely inside Afghanistan territory. Furthermore, the wetlands are an integral part of the region’s unique social and cultural environment.
Sistan plain including Hamoun wetlands in Sistan and Baluchestan province of Iran is also vulnerable to changes of climate, especially concerning its impacts on water availability (surface runoffs), increased temperatures and increased hot-spots of sand and dust storms, all of which exacerbate the impacts brought about by the degradation of wetlands. Degrading Situation of wetlands in Sistan plain has already had negative consequences for rural livelihoods and exacerbated sand and dust storms due to the dry former lakes and riverbeds. This situation causes displacement of women, men, and children, putting them in situations of increased vulnerability and at risk of poverty.
In order to address the abovementioned challenges, the project will promote integrated natural resource management for the restoration of wetland ecosystems and support alternative livelihoods development of local communities in the Hamoun wetlands by applying area-based development approach. To do so, the project activities are designed to contribute to three main outputs:
Output 1: Better capacities and coordination;
Output 2: Sustainable land and water management/wetland restoration;
Output 3: Local economic development, sustainable alternative livelihoods and climate-smart agriculture.