Sensitivity zoning of wetland habitats and its application in ecosystem management of Lake Parishan, Lake Urmia and Shadegan Wetland

Management of human activities through zoning and codes of practice is one of the fundamental elements of wetlands management plans to achieve a long-term vision and wise use of wetlands. Zoning is considered as a mean for management of wetlands, such as land use patterns, land use planning, or urban planning, in which geographical zones with a defined level of utilisation are determined.
As zoning directly affects a wide range of wetland users, it is necessary to maximise the participation of stakeholders in zoning process and its implementation. For that Conservation of Iranian Wetlands Project has tried to complement the management plans of its demonstration sites (Lake Parishan, Lake Urmia, Shadegan Wetland) with developing zoning maps and codes of practice in collaboration with all stakeholders. At the first stage, the sensitivity of different wetland zones to human activities were defined. Then based on the current activities and allowed activities in different zones, an appropriate land use for each zone was proposed. In the final stage, the codes of practice were developed to provide the stakeholders with a common understanding of sustainable and unsustainable uses of wetland ecosystems in Lake Urmia, Lake Parishan and Shadegan wetland.
The achievements of this process were attached to the management plans to have the required implementation enforcement. Some examples of applying zoning maps and codes of practice include
Lake Parishan tourism strategy, installation of bouys around sensitive habitats of Lake Parishan and fishing strategy of Shadegan Wetland.