The impacts of Zarivar wetland on the livelihood assets of rural households

Resources and the natural environment are considered as the main property of rural people for their living and livelihoods, and most of their livelihood activities are directly related to the environment and environmental resources. In the meantime, wetlands are valuable ecosystems that have many functions in a variety of natural ecosystem and in addition to protecting biodiversity, they also have many other natural, economic and social values that can affect the livelihood of local people and ultimately their livelihoods. Therefore, this research aiming to study the effects of Zarivar wetland on the livelihoods of rural households living around it in the form of a sustainable livelihood approach. In fact, the research attempts to answer the main question: How did the wetland contribute to improving the rural population's assets?
The provision of a sustainable livelihoods framework for empowerment and capacity building in rural areas as a new livelihood strategy in development theories was a key tools for achieving sustainable development in the 1990s. One of the most important and effective ways to advance development goals in rural areas is to identify household living conditions, access to livelihoods and factors affecting their livelihoods. Capital or assets are one of the most important components of a sustainable livelihood framework and livelihoods are supported by investing in the capabilities of sustainable livelihoods and the interaction between different livelihoods is crucial to creating a deeper understanding of sustainable livelihoods. Livelihoods of local people are often presented as a pentagon model that can be used to demonstrate schematic differences in their access to local capitals.There is a strong and complex connection between natural resources and rural livelihoods so that villagers in developed countries dependent to the availability of natural resources and access to it to support their livelihoods. Wetlands have had a fundamental role in development of economic-social, regional and national in Iran. The goods and services that wetlands usually produce are directly or indirectly used by people. The livelihood system communicates with the wetland at multiple time and space scales, shaping and strengthening ecosystem services as well as livelihood that forms the basis of livelihood strategies. Wetland ecosystem services can be considered as forming part of the natural capita which might help other forms of livelihoods through structures and processes.
Methods and Material: The present study as an applied study is a descriptive-analytic in nature that from data collection point is both documentary and field study using questionnaire. The study area is Marivan Township which is located in Kurdistan province and the statistical population of the study was 7 villages around Zarivar wetland with a population of 6165 people and 1539 households. Because of the abundance of the population, 230 of them were chosen as sample group according to Cochran formula. The main research instrument for collecting necessary data and information from the field was a questionnaire designed to identify the indicators and variables explaining the livelihood assets of the sustainable livelihood framework (DFID, 1999). Validity of the questionnaire was confirmed by a panel of relevant experts of extension and rural development and the reliability its various sections according to Cronbach's alpha coefficient gained acceptable at 0.81-0.87. Data analysis was performed using both SPSS20 and LISREL8.8 software and also the Confirmatory Factor Analysis.

Results And Discussion

For the purpose of analyzing the effects of Zarivar wetland on people's sustainable livelihood, a second confirmation factor analysis (CFA) was applied in order to study the significance and fit of its impact measurement model. The model for measuring the effect of Zarivar wetland on the sustainable livelihoods of member households was evaluated in the form of five capital, namely natural capital (4 aspects), human capital(2 aspects), social capital(3 aspects), physical capital(2 aspects) and economic capital(3 aspects). Based on the results obtained from the fitted model in a meaningful state, if the value of t is greater than 2.56 or less than -2.56, factor loads at a confidence level of 99% and, if the value of t is greater than 1.96 or less than -1.96, the confidence level would be at 95%. Therefore, the zero assumption is based on the non-significance of the role of the indicator (variable) on the formation of the constituent (factor) of the rejection and the significance of the relations in the form of verifiable factor analysis is acceptable. For an acceptable validity, there must be a significant correlation between structure and dimension, and between dimension and indices. If the relation (standard coefficients) is higher than 0.3, then it can be said that the indices have good explanation of power and this relationship is significant. Regarding the reported values of fitness indicators, the model for measuring the impact of Zarivar wetlands on the sustainable livelihoods of the marginal households has a suitable and appropriate fit. So, it can be concluded that the data of this research are fitted with the structure of the factor and theoretical basis of the research and this indicates that the markers (variables) are compatible with the factors (structures) in the model of the wetland's impact on the sustainable livelihoods of its marginal households. This result confirms the accuracy of the selected dimensions for assessing the impact of wetlands on the sustainable livelihood of the individuals surveyed and the significance and fit of the model for measuring the impact of the wetland on the sustainable livelihoods of the villagers in the form of five funds. The standardized path coefficients show the intensity of the relationship between the first order factors and the second order factor. Accordingly, according to the results of natural capital (λ = 0.81), it is the strongest indicator.


One of the most important factors affecting the livelihood level of local people living around Zarivar wetland is the three economic sections including agriculture and livestock, tourism, and fisheries. From the respondent's viewpoint, the various functions of these three sections had the most impact on household's livelihoods and, consequently, their livelihoods in the study area. The results of confirmatory factor analysis showed that the selective markers of the research had a significant effect on the level of five (natural, human, social, physical and financial) investments in the wetland households. Therefore, the present model structure is suitable for all dimensions of livelihoods and their indicators of measurement, and it shows a satisfactory agreement with the research theory foundation. Natural capital (λ = 0.81) was the strongest indicator for measuring the sustainable livelihoods of rural households living in the study area. The results reveals that Zarivar wetlands have had a positive effect on the five livelihoods of their marginal households in their respective dimensions including land, water, natural resources, knowledge and skills, health and food security, participation, networks and social connections, infrastructure, production and income. And has improved them. Therefore, changing the direction of development plans and the priority of investments in these areas in order to create resources and opportunities for improving ecological status (more forest cover and reducing erosion, etc.), economic (more agricultural and livestock productivity , tourism prosperity) and social (health improvement and training facilities and infrastructure) are necessary to achieve a sustainable livelihoods level.

Article Type:
Research/Original Article
Geography and Development Iranian Journal, Volume:16 Issue: 51, 2018
25 - 42  
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