What we are?
A few words about CENESTA
The Centre for Sustainable Development (CENESTA) is a non-governmental, non-profit organisation dedicated to promoting sustainable community- and culture-based development. Its main area of work is Iran and Southwest Asia. CENESTA experts have also engaged in extensive activities in Africa, Latin America, Asia, and in the international arena in general. CENESTA is a member of IUCN—the International Union for Conservation of Nature and is a founding member of the ICCA Consortium—the international organisation dedicated to conservation by indigenous peoples and traditional communities.
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Centre for Sustainable Development

From Local Action to Global Impact

Latest News and Articles


Dialogue and Development in Iran

Building Multi-Stakeholder Alliances

Empowering Iran’s indigenous Nomadic Tribes

Union of Indigenous Nomadic Tribes of Iran The Union of Indigenous Nomadic Tribes of Iran (UNINOMAD) is a tribal federation with membership of indigenous nomadic tribes from throughout Iran. UNINOMAD was established, in part, to provide an effective platform for indigenous groups within Iran to organize and advocate for increased recognition of their natural rights including the right to govern their own ancestral domains and tribal territories for the good of Mother Nature, the tribal wellbeing, and their spiritual and identity needs. UNINOMAD and CENESTA subscribe to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples to which the government of Iran also subscribed ...


Union of Indigenous Camel Herders of Iran UNICAMEL is a tribal federation with membership of indigenous camel herders from throughout Iran. UNICAMEL was registered in February 2013. Membership in UNICAMEL facilitates support and solidarity amongst camel herders within Iran and a clearer role in influencing policy. UNICAMEL and CENESTA share a commitment to use endogenous development and indigenous knowledge to support camel conservation and research within the region, as well as the promotion of ICCAs over camel territories. UNICAMEL is a member of the global ICCA Consortium.

The Human Side of Participatory Plant Breeding: Interview with Dr. Salvatore Ceccarelli

http://www.youtube.com/embed/rRycWaEme2Q http://www.youtube.com/embed/n1miq0VrsWc Also you can download the full length stream from https://www.dropbox.com/s/t31bov42a14ue4w/Interview%2001.mp4

Seed Freedom
Participatory Plant Breeding in Iran: Report of the first five years (2006-2011)
Participatory Evaluation of Wheat and Barley Germplasm Collections in Iran
Farmer blog on Participatory Plant Breeding in Iran (in Persian)
First Farmers Seed Bank in Iran!
Deputy Minister of Agriculture visits PPB sites in Garmsar, Iran
Iranian farmers attend "Maisons des semences" meeting in France

Who We Are

Cenesta has alternative approach to Development:
Sustainable, with the following dimensions:

  • Economic and financial
  • Social and cultural
  • Ecological and environmental
  • Institutional and policy

Endogenous development


What We Do

Combating Desertification &Living with the Desert

Sustainable Development

Endogenous development through re-empowerment of indigenous and local communities (IPLCs) in Iran

Conservation & Value of Biological & cultural Diversity



  • Member, International Union for Conservation of Nature – IUCN
  • Founding Member, ICCA Consortium
  • NGO Member, National Commission to Combat Desertification
  • Member, Global Forest Coalition (GFC)
  • Founding Member, DryNet: NGOs in support of the Convention to Combat Desertification
  • Founding Member, World Alliance of Mobile Indigenous Peoples (WAMIP)

Center for Sustainable Development and environment

Latest Publications

  • pub1

    CBD Technical Series

    Recognising and Supporting Territories and Areas Conserved by Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities

  • pub2

    Bio-cultural diversity

    Bio-cultural diversity conserved by indigenous peoples & local communities

    examples & analysis

    Reprinted, October 2012

  • pub3

    Policy Matters

    Special Issue Macroeconomic Policies, Livelihoods and Sustainability

  • pub4


    Report Drynet Meeting Bolivia, January 2011

    Team environment: how the environemt influnces teamwork and vice versa

Centre for Sustainable Develpment and Environment



Union of Indigenous Camel Herders of Iran UNICAMEL is a tribal federation with membership of indigenous camel herders from throughout...