Khar-Touran region

Khar-Touran region
Location: Biarjomand District (Semnan Province)


Main characteristics:

  • 2000 ha (Cheshme Zak, Sanjari, Sar Agholi, Aghol Shirei)
  • Abolhassani Tribal Confederacy (one of the smallest, about 800 persons); their origin seems to be southern (Fars Province) Luri tribes;
  • Abolhassani Tribe migrates between summering and wintering territories annually;
  • Although the government (Forest, Range and Watershed Management Organisation, FRWO) took formal possession of the rangelands of all indigenous tribes in Iran after the 1963 imposition by the Shah, the territory-based ICCA of this and other tribes are still managed by themselves essentially following customary knowledge and rules. The MIPs are now organising themselves to take more de facto and de jure control of their territories;
  • Livelihood, cultural and spiritual values;
  • Unique desert flora and fauna. There is about 800 plant species alone, of which many are endangered but protected by community practices. Some 100-200 species are likely still unknown to modern science, although the community ethno-botanists know every one of them and their properties for people, animals and nature;
  • Qanats (traditional ground water tapping systems) are in use and now being restored and re-habilitated;
  • Elders and traditional leaders are still respected and listened to;
  • A new project designed by the Abolhassani MIPs for territory-based rangeland and forest management, to strengthen the customary ICCA management approaches is also pending approval by the FRWO which would go beyond the recognition of their territory-based ICCAs;
  • The region is also a part of a UNESCO MAB Biosphere Reserve, and includes wild populations of Asiatic cheetah, Asiatic.
Courtesy Abbas Didari, Cenesta
Courtesy Abbas Didari, Cenesta
Courtesy Nahid Naghizadeh, Cenesta
Courtesy Fatima Talebi, Abolhassani Tribal Confederacy
Courtesy Nahid Naqizadeh, Cenesta
Courtesy Maede Salimi, Cenesta
Courtesy Fahime Seifi and Jeyran Farvar, Cenesta

Reference: CENESTA. 2011. Reviving Indigenous Community Conserved Areas (ICCAs) in Customary Territories of Abolhasani Mobile Pastoralists— Coping with the Effects of Climate Change and Drought through Local Initiatives and Ecological Management, Kharturan Region, Central Desert of Iran. CENESTA and UNDP-GEF-SGP, Tehran.

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