Proposed policies for integrated watershed management in order to combat desertification in Euphrates and Tigris basin

Document Type: Research Paper

Authors

1 Associated Professor, Faculty of Natural Resources, University of Tehran, Karaj, Iran

2 Ph.D. Student, Faculty of Natural Resources, University of Tehran, Karaj, Iran

3 Forestry Officer, Forest Economics Service, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

Abstract

Desertification of the arid and semi-arid lands of the world has been proceeding for more than a thousand years.
Human-induced degradation in these areas is regularly cited as one of the principal causes of desertification.
Euphrates and Tigris Basin as the case study of this research in some aspects is almost unique in the world. But this
basin has been confronted to progressive desertification. This research was done for proposing appropriate policies in
terms of main driving forces in order to combat desertification in this basin. So qualitative analyses of data banks of
the countries involved in this basin have been collected by FAO consultants, showed desertification in Euphrates and
Tigris Basin is characterized by climate factors and human activities; water scarcity and unequal distribution of water
are major climate factors. The main human activities are overgrazing of rangelands, deforestation, and land use
changes. Because of negative impacts of human activities on climate factors and also deep dependency of livelihood
in this basin, there is an urgent need to plan an integrated watershed management in order to managing people, water,
forests, and range lands together for combating this progressive desertification.

Keywords