Planning and implementing Community Based Ecotourism by focusing on territorial integrity of Heybatlu sub-tribe of Sish Bayli Tribe of Qashqai tribal confederacy
Planning and implementing Community Based Ecotourism by focusing on territorial integrity of Heybatlu sub-tribe of Sish Bayli Tribe of Qashqai tribal confederacy
Background on CCAs and SGP support to them

Iran, like many other countries, has innumerable CCAs that are increasingly being understood, recognized and supported. The lack of such understanding in the past has meant that tribal communities have been facing many problems that threaten the ecological and social integrity of their territory-based CCAs and livelihoods. In recent years, following the national and international efforts for the recognition of CCAs and community rights, as well as the formation of tribal community investment funds and their federations and unions—particularly the pioneering role played by the SGP— conservation cum livelihoods projects have brought about some hopeful results.

The livelihoods of Iranian tribal communities have always depended on the conservation of nature throughout their territories– including its preservation, sustainable use and restoration. In the decades since the Nationalization Decree of 1963 and the resulting encroachment into their territory and irreparable mistakes of externally-imposed management systems have tended to weaken and erode the customary governance of natural resources and indigenous knowledge. One direct result of this intrusion and lack of respect for traditional systems has been environmental degradation that has become a big challenge.

The Council of Elders of some Tribal communities have discussed the problems they are facing, and have empowered representatives to discuss solutions with CENESTA and the UNDP/ GEF/ SGP. Three proposals have been prepared by the tribal units involved for two of the largest tribal confederacies of the country (Qashqai and Shahsavan tribal confederacies) for the ecological restoration of their CCAs, strengthening customary institutions for natural resource management and reclaiming good governance of their territories.

These three projects have been elaborated following the participatory training session on project writing co-sponsored by UNDP/GEF/SGP for indigenous nomadic tribes which was held in conjunction with the Second Workshop on Community Biodiversity Registers/ Community Bio-cultural Diversity Protocols, held in Shibidzar which is a part of the summering grounds on 15 September 2010. The Session was geared to making use of the fact that SGP, in its current fifth four-year cycle, is emphasizing CCAs and intends to devote a significant portion of its resources to projects that strengthen nomadic CCAs and sustainable management of their natural resources based on indigenous knowledge and customary institutions of environmental governance.

Project activities:

As part of the SGP global initiative on Indigenous Peoples and Community Conserved Areas (CCAs), the Heybatlu sub-tribe has prepared a project with facilitation support from Cenesta on Community-Based Ecotourism by focusing on the integrity of the sub-tribe’s entire territory including the summering grounds (3,000 hectares Eghlid District in Fars Province), migratory routes and way stations (450 km in 20 days), and wintering grounds (30,000 hectares in Farrashband District, Fars Province), all in the Zagros Range.

The project will demonstrate a real example of nomadic pastoralist lifestyle and their importance and experiences in conservation of nature and its biodiversity (flora and fauna) as well as their social and cultural values to visitors to their territories.

The project activities will focus on capacity building, participatory management of natural resources, job creation, wealth generation and revival of ecological and cultural values of their lifestyle. This will be done through participatory action research including preparing community biodiversity registers and community biocultural diversity protocols, assessing and reviving indigenous animal genetic resources and participatory plant breeding.

The output of this project will be a practical model of community based ecotourism in Heybatlu sub-tribe’s territory which will lead to recognition of nomadic pastoralist territories as an CCA and regaining full governance rights over their territory.

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Project Snapshot

Area Of Work:
Climate Change Mitigation
Land Degradation
Grant Amount:
US$ 25,000.00
Co-Financing Cash:
US$ 95,500.00
Co-Financing in-Kind:
US$ 20,500.00
Project Number:
Satisfactorily Completed

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(98-21) 2286 9547


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