Damgahs (Doumas) of Fereydoonkenar, Sorkhrud and Ezbaran
Location: Fereydoonkenar and Amol (Mazandaran Province, region of the Caspian Sea)
- Seasonal wetlands alternating between rice farming and birding, about 300-400 ha;
- Sedentary local communities (traditional seasonal trappers, hunters and rice growers), Mazani-speaking Tabari people;
- These wetlands are the wintering habitat of more than 45 species of waterfowl including the critically-endangered Siberian crane;
- In the summer, when all the waterfowl leave the area, the wetlands are used for one period of seasonal rice cultivation, taking care not to use harmful chemicals. The residual rice grains are left in the autumn for the waterfowl to feed on as soon as they come. Additional grains are provided as needed to ensure a rich population of the waterfowl.
- Very traditional trapping techniques are used that can only harvest a small percentage of the waterfowl. A very high awareness of the habits, behaviour and conservation needs of the waterfowl exists among these traditional trappers, who take every care not to overharvest, and not to allow shooting by anyone for hunting; they are also careful to ensure their techniques are not harmful to the more endangered birds such as the Siberian crane. They have a precise knowledge of the natural history and taxonomy of the waterfowl, and a love for their conservation;
- Formally recognised as an ICCA since 2001, given the status of No-Hunting Zone & Ramsar Site since 2003 by the Department of the Environment, who have a working relationship with the community and actively consider them partners in conservation. A recent GEF-sponsored project for the conservation of the Siberian crane was implemented jointly by the DOE and the traditional trappers;
- The indigenous and traditional management knowledge of trappers and keepers of wildfowl is very strong. At least since 50 years ago trappers gather every August to make management decisions about water distribution, designate guards, collect money for common purposes, and divide roles for the new season;
- There is also a good relationship with the banking system in which they regularly apply for loans for improvement of the habitats.
Reference: Cooperative of Ezbaran Damgahdaran. 2007. Pesticide Free Rice Project through IPM/FFS in Ezbaran Village, Caspian Region. Cooperative of Ezbaran Damgahdaran and UNDP-GEF-SGP. Np.