Traditional Ab-Bandans in the Caspian Sea region

Traditional Ab- Bandans in the Caspian Sea region
Location: Guilan, Mazandaran & Golestan (South Turkmenistan) Provinces

Main characteristics:

  • 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 [1], 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.

[1] Perla is a native bird of Iran, black, with its head and neck shinier than the rest of the body, and its beak and forehead white.

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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *