Ab-Bandan in Anzali Lagoon

Ab-Bandan in Anzali Lagoon
Location: Anzali District, within the Anzali Wetland

Main characteristics:

  • About 3,000 hectares; 60 Ab-Bandans in Anzali Wetland minimum 10 hectare– Maximum 100 hectare;
  • Gilaki local communities (sedentary villagers and some urban people), 87 groups of Ab-Bandan-Daran (each group includes 10-15 members);
  • Although the law provides for the autonomy of such areas in the Anzali Lagoon, the Department of Environment has taken upon itself to claim ownership of the entire Lagoon (the details of this complexity are explained in the legal ICCA study.) and now gives de-facto rental contracts of the groups. In the process, however, this has caused some loss of sense of ownership of these ICCAs, tending to treat the ab-bandans as res nullius or open access resource regime, especially since the DOE has been subject to awarding large areas of these traditional wetlands to powerful pressure groups. As far as the local community is concerned, they are organising themselves to defend their rights over these ab-bandans as ICCAs. A national NGO (Cenesta) has been working with both the local community and the DOE in order to help resolve the issues. Currently these sites are managed by Ab-Bandans for a six months period (September-March) each year under a rental agreement with the provincial DOE over the terms of which they have no control. The AbBandan-Dars are allowed to exploit fish and birds during hunting and fishing season, with clear, but ineffective and non-participatory specific environmental limits and prohibitions.

Reference: CENESTA. 2012. Anzali Wetland Ecological Management Project, Socio-economic Survey [Part-2].

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