Role of rural women in operation, protection and restoration of natural resources in desert plains; Case study: Khuzestan province


1 Associate Professor, University of Tehran

2 Lecturer of Ramin Agriculture and Natural Resources University



Non-renewable natural resources play an important role in sustainable development of developing countries such as Iran. However, since the natural resources should be preserved for future generations, proper use of such resources seems mandatory. Women are one of the prime users of natural resources in developing countries. The purpose of this study is to assess the conservational behavior of rural women and factors influencing such behaviors regarding destruction, protection, and restoration of desert areas of Khuzestan province in Iran in a one-year period from Sep 2006 to Sep 2007. Rural women living in desert areas were interviewed in the process of data collection using multi-stage random sampling techniques. The results revealed that rural women played an essential role in the protection, restoration and destruction of natural resources. Moreover, there was no significant relationship between rural women’s personal characteristics and their activities in utilization of natural resources. This implies that destruction of natural resources is not attributed to rural women's intentions. However, human basic needs such as searching for a place to live, unpredictable weather conditions, unawareness of conservational facts, financial difficulties, large-sized families, overgrazing, and using woods as fuel were the main reasons for destruction.