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Original Article

Prioritizing Impact of Economic, Social and Ecological Factors on Sustainable Range Management (Case study: Semi-Arid Rangelands of Kerman Province, Iran)



Economic, social, and ecological factors in rangelands affect range management. By integrating and studying these factors, a more appropriate method can be applied to assess the sustainability of rangelands. In the present study, Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) as well as the experiences and views of rangeland exploiters and nomadic and natural resources experts in Kerman province were used to compare and prioritize the economic, social, and ecological factors affecting sustainable range management in semi-arid rangelands of Kerman province in 2017. Then, the means comparisons were made between priorities of rangeland exploiters and experts. Using AHP weight data, our results showed that ecological capital had the most impact of 0.71 and 0.61 from the viewpoints of rangeland exploiters and experts, on sustainable range management in the study area, and the two other factors including economic ones with 0.17 and 0.19 and social ones with 0.09 and 0.19 capital were ranked, respectively. Furthermore, according to the results of comparing the views of rangeland exploiters and experts, significant differences were found between the views of the two mentioned groups for 14 indicators including plant species diversity, soil erosion, groundwater, unity and solidarity at the range allotment level, trusting the experts and promoters, the presence of people in decision making and planning, the presence and role of women in livestock and non-livestock products, living cost, and livestock number. Overall, the results indicate the inconsistency between the views of these two groups. Therefore, prior to policy making for sustainable range management, more consistency is required between the views of rangeland exploiters and experts in each of the related organizations for greater participation of range managers.


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