Participation of Environmental NGOs in Conservational Activities: evidences from Kani Barazan Wetland in Mahabad

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Professor, Department of Agricultural Extension and Education, Faculty of Agricultural Economics and Development, University of Tehran

2 M.S. Student, Department of Agricultural Extension and Education, Faculty of Agricultural Economics and Development, University of Tehran


Today, human society is faces to the tremendous challenge such as the environmental problems, so if the same process continues and serious efforts not pay to resolve this crisis, it will turn into a disaster. Although NGOs have a long history but unfortunately have not found a suitable place in the area of ​​environment and natural resources yet and always there is one concern: what factors attract people to participate in environmental activities effectively.
On the one hand, because of uncontrolled use and application of natural areas without any special plan, the rate of degradation and exploitation of these resources is much greater than the renewal of them and this issue has destroyed a wide range of resources. Therefore, strategy formulation for conservation and sustainable use of these resources as a fundamental necessity is felt more than ever.
 On the other hand, environmental problems have become pervasive global crisis and if we do not an act to solve this problem, human will be faced with an enormous disaster. Fiftieth principle of Iran's constitution and fourth program of Economic, Social and Cultural Development that has emphasized the environmental protection is the Criterion for national and community participation to protect the country's environmental assets. According to these issue, in recent years, public participation in environment decision making at the regional, national and international level is institutionalized increasingly.
Participation is a result of a dynamic process in which the person knows his/her real requests and his/her society requests well and is bringing himself and community activities without any feeling of pressure and has a feeling commitment to them. Participation as a goal, as well as a dynamic activity that enables people to increase their role in development activities. In this type of partnership, each individual has right to express and intervene in processes of making decisions about his or her own live. Participation is an instrument for expand the purposes, ideological and normative development, like equality and democracy.
Wetlands can be called the most beautiful aspects of life in the world. The combination of onshore and offshore ecosystems leads to the emergence of "Wetland" or "wetlands". These critical environments are the most fertile, complex and sensitive Earth habitats. Wetlands Commission in 1362 is defined "wetland” as follows:
Wetland is area of ​​the natural manifestation of God's that in the process of emergence, the soil becomes saturated by surface water and groundwater and in the time is formed with normal and environmental conditions and has biological sequences.
This ecosystem includes the communities of plants and animals that able to be adapting to the particular ecological conditions Wetlands are considered as natural and untouched and pristine. To most people, prefer the peace of a wetland to the mountains and deserts and deltas. Many plants and animals of the wetlands caused attracting the attention of people. Nature enthusiasts know that wetland even has mental healing value.
 In this relationship the role of non-governmental organizations in protecting natural resources and the environment is an undeniable role. But to clarify the situation that shows the importance of this role, we need to systematic research. Therefore this study aimed at investigation the factors effecting on participation of environmental NGO’s in conservational activities.
In present study, we emphasize on non-governmental organization which active in the area of Kani Barazan Wetland. Three NGOs are active around of Kani Barazan Wetland. Therefore the main problem of this study is identify the main factors that effect on the mount of members participation in concept of wetland protection.
Materials & Methods:
 A descriptive – correlation study was conducted and data were collected through a survey. The study population were the members of three active NGO’s in the field of environmental protection of Mahabad’s Kani Barazan wetland (N = 120) that 92 people of them were selected as the sample. In this study, the factors affecting participation were assessed in five categories, including informational factor, economic factor, cultural factor, motivational and managerial factors.
A questionnaire was designed to collecting research data. Its validity was confirmed by a panel of experts (Faculty members and PhD and MSc students of Department of Agricultural Extension and Education of Tehran University). The Cronbach's alpha coefficient was used to assess the reliability and values ranged were more than 0.7 for each part of questionnaire that indicates its reliability was appropriate. 92 questionnaires were distributed among the participants to data collecting. After that 85 of them finally were used. To data analysis SPSS21 software was applied. To investigate the participation rate of conservation measures between male and female, the mean comparison was performed by using Student's t test.
 Discussion & Conclusion:
The results indicated that there is a significant difference between male and female and degree of participation (t = 2.937). To determine the effects of variables on participation rates, stepwise regression analysis was used. Stepwise approach is a method in which the most powerful variables respectively enter the regression equation and this continues until the significance test error reaches 5%. In this study, after entering the variables that were significantly correlated with the dependent variable (participation in conservation measures), Equation, went to 4 steps. Therefore, the variables of economic factor, informational factor, cultural factor and management factor respectively were entered into regression analyzes (table 1).
Table 1: results of stepwise regression analysis






F1: economic factor
F2: informational factor
F3: cultural factor
F4: management factor





According to the results presented in Table 4, the linear equation of regression is as follows:
R2= 0/711
Y= 5/466 + 1/142 F1 + 1/187 F2 + 0/744F3 + 0/415 F4
The results showed that 71.1 percent of participation variance was determined by these variables. According to the values that ​​obtained for the Beta, independent variables that respectively have the greatest effect on the participation rate are: economic factor, informational factor, cultural factor and management factor.
Conclusion and Recommendations:
Based on the results, there is a negative and significant difference between male and female in line of participation rates at the one percent level. Also significant relationship between age and participation rate at the one percent level was observed. These results are consistent with research findings of some of scientists.
Since the informational factor in this study, showed significant and positive effect on participation in environmental activities and this is consistent with the results of past studies, therefor, to help people be familiar with the principles and objectives of participation, activities such as exhibitions and conferences in the field of environmental pollution control and how they fight, training workshops should be done.
Another factor in this study is shown significant effect was cultural factor. This factor contains items such as having a spirit of cooperation among community members, Collective decision making in cooperative and public encourage toward the movement of participation.
 Also management is another factor that has a significant effect on participation in environmental protection of wetlands that is consistent with the study results of some studies has been conducted before. Therefore, improvement the management mechanisms from government and on behalf of wetlands Board members, can be followed effective results.
Another factor that has a significant impact on the participation is economic factor. Therefore, with regard to the results, this recommended that characteristics and their cultural and economic structure and level of their knowledge as well as their age should be carefully identificated and evaluated.
We can apply this gained information in future planning in order to increase participation in conservation measures. Since the rate of women's participation in conservation activities reported less than men, therefore, we must create necessary cultural and motivational background for increasing women's participation by doing measures such as festivals and seminars holding and providing educational services. Extension trainings, can provide people's information needs for improvement their science and knowledge level in the field of environmental protection


Main Subjects


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