Monitoring the Areas of Dust Production and Assessing the Damages Caused by This Phenomenon to the Agriculture Sector (Case study: Alborz Province, Iran)

Article Type:
Case Study (دارای رتبه معتبر)

In recent years, the dust phenomenon has become one of the most important environmental challenges throughout the world, and one of its negative effects is on the agriculture sector. The aim of this research is first to determine dust emission sources in Alborz Province and then to estimate the willingness to pay (WTP) for reducing the effects of dust on the agriculture of dust emission sources and their surrounding areas. The Index of Land Susceptibility to Wind Erosion (ILSWE) was used to determine dust emission sources. ILSWE consisted of the combination of 5 effective factors in wind erosion, namely climate erosivity, soil erodibility, soil crust, vegetation cover, and surface roughness. In the next step, according to the produced map of dust emission sources, the affected rural districts were identified, and then using the contingent valuation method (CVM), individuals’ WTP for preventing and reducing the negative impacts of the dust phenomenon on the agriculture was calculated by 400 questionnaires. According to the results, the classification map of ILSWE indicated that while classifying the areas in terms of their sensitivity to wind erosion 7.8% of the study area was placed in the very high sensitivity class. This class was considered the center of dust production, which was located chiefly in the southern parts of Alborz Province. Using the CVM method, the expected value rate and the WTP were calculated as 1654231 Rials (approximately $ 5.5). According to the population of the affected area, the total value of protecting the agricultural products against dust phenomenon is 27433766904 Rials ($91445.89) annually.

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