Implementing the Project of Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) in Kanibrazan Wetland

Nowadays, environment has become of the fundamental components in global policies. Accordingly, at the moment, compatibility with the environment is considered as the prerequisite for any type of economic activity. Evaluating the performance of many organizations active in the area of conservation of the environment around the world, including in Iran, during the last decades, indicates the fact that the focus of environmental conservation directions and policies has mainly been on application of prescriptive bylaws, instead of economic approaches introduced in the form of economic tools and instruments. Therefore, during the recent years, the application of economic tools and a complementary mechanism has gained a lot of attention as a key effective component in the area of environmental conservation policies.
One of the most important issues in the field of the environment, and consequently one of the important issues in the field of environmental economy, is the issue of wetlands. In order to be able to make rational decisions about maintaining the quality of wetland ecosystems, understanding the services of nature and their value is imperative. Valuation and determination of the price of various environmental goods and services is a very difficult task due to the nature and wide diversity of such services. In this regard, one of the modern tools for maintaining ecosystem services involves the instrument of payment for ecosystem services (PES). One of the benefits of this method compared to other available methods is the fact that it promotes the participation of users and local communities, which makes its usage easier and its objectives more realizable.
After carrying out a number of studies by Shahid Beheshti University,CIWP started implementing two plans for payment for ecosystem services (PES) since 2017 in Khvor Khvoreh and Qara-Dagh villages around Kanibrazan Wetland (one of the satellite wetlands of Lake Urmia). Fortunately, considering the awareness and interest of the local communities in these villages, the following positive outcomes have been obtained:
•    Signing a five-way agreement among 30 farmers living near Kanibrazan Wetland, Organization for Agricultural Jihad in Western Azerbaijan Province, the General DoE provincial offices in Western Azerbaijan Province, and the local executive firm for improving the farming and gardening operations in order to reduce the consumption of water and chemical inputs with the aim of improving the quality and quantity of the water in Kanibrazan Wetland;
•    Regular monthly sampling of the water in the wetland in order to monitor the quality of environmental factors by the local community, thereby improving the water quality of the wetland;
•    Preventing the burning of natural reed beds by the livestock farmers in the waterways extending into the wetland, and restoration of a portion of the reed beds by the local community; 
•    Implementing the initial steps of the integrated tourism plan in the area around Kanibrazan Wetland as an activity complementing farming and animal husbandry in order to reduce the load exerted upon the water and soil resources of the wetland.