Traditional Ab- Bandans in the Caspian Sea region
Location: Guilan, Mazandaran & Golestan (South Turkmenistan) Provinces
- Estimated at some 8,500 hectares;
- Guilaki, Mazani (LCs), Turkmen (IPs) in 3 Caspian provinces of Iran (Guilan, Mazandaran, and Golestan);
- These are community conserved areas with customary rules and management systems;
- Ab-Bandan is a type of artificial wetland created and managed as an ICCA with strong livelihood and conservation aspects. It is a huge pool shaped form earth by scooping and excavation of an area followed by piling and beating the earth to build an earth wall around the pond;
- Traditional structure of water supply belongs to northern provinces of Iran with different names: “Sell” in Guilan, “Andoon” in Mazandaran and “Bandsaar” in Golestan.
- Almost all Ab-Bandans have been built beside rice farms (Shalizar) which makes water transferring way shorter, so it has a leading role in preventing water loss through penetration in ground or evaporation.
- Suitable ecological places for life of various bird species in particular for migratory birds overwintering such as ducks, parla , pelicans, swans, crowned ducks, etc.
- Important role in local communities livelihoods, job creation, protein supply sources for locals;
- During hundreds of years local communities have conserved these sources through customary rules and laws known as “Ab-Bandan-Dar” system.
- Originally a community owned system, it is often given to the care of individuals or small groups from the community;
- Warm water fish production, reserving water in rainy seasons for both rice cultivation and drinking water.
Reference: CENESTA. 2012. Anzali Wetland Ecological Management Project, Socio-economic Survey [Part-2]. CENESTA, DOE and JAICA, Tehran.