Strategic planning for sustainable development in arid lands (Case study: Kahyaz protected area, Isfahan province)

Article Type:
Case Study (دارای رتبه معتبر)

Protected areas are important for long-term conservation of plant and animal species. Understanding the opportunities and threats in these areas is essential for strategic planning to achieve sustainable development. Strengths, Weaknesses, Threats, and Opportunities (SWOT) is one of the most widely used strategic planning technique. The current study aimed to investigate the most important internal factors (strengths and weaknesses) and external factors (threats and opportunities) in Kahyaz protected area, Isfahan, using a combination of qualitative and quantitative approaches including, SWOT, analytic hierarchy process and quantitative strategic planning matrix and to present the best management strategies to improve the status of the region. Results showed that high biodiversity, presence of key species such as Asian bustard and beautiful and unique landscapes were the most important strengths, and the proximity of Kahyaz to Kharoo wildlife refuge and Zawarah tourist area and its proximity to population centers were the most important opportunities. Lack of staff and protective guards, the presence of livestock and the lack of knowledgeable managers and conservation programs were the most important weaknesses. Illegal hunting and grazing, inadequate infrastructure and the lack of investments were the major threats in Kahyaz protected area. Quantitative strategic planning matrix showed that the best management strategy in this region is tourism development. The presence of ecotourism attractions in the region and a variety of natural and unique landscapes, provide suitable conditions for ecotourism tours in Kahyaz. While the lack of infrastructure and facilities, effective advertisement and the lack of appropriate investments were recognized as obstacles to sustainable ecotourism development in the area.

Journal of Arid Biome, Volume:10 Issue: 1, 2021
126 to 135  
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