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Accepted Paper:

The governance institutions of Balouch peoples of Chahdegal for nature conservation and human wellbeing in their territories of life  


Ali Razmkhah (Ca' Foscari University of Venice)
Nina Aminzadeh Goharrizi

Paper long abstract:

The Shahiki tribe, part of the Balouch transhumant pastoralists of Iran, migrated to Chahdegal (Southeast of Iran), an area of high biodiversity and rich in natural resources, about 150 years ago. With rich biodiversity, wild and domestic flora and fauna, the Chahdegal Balouch peoples’ territory of life encompass extensive areas of desert and semi-desert ecosystems. As semi-mobile communities, the Chahdegal Balouch peoples identify themselves as Indigenous peoples belonging to the broader Iranian Balouch ethnic community. Historic relationship with nature in their territories of life, Chahdegal peoples have been achieving their well-being without irreversible and Irreparable damages to nature. These complex relations have been regulated through the governance institution, which has been established based on their worldviews, ethics, values, knowledge, and experiences. This institution includes decision-making processes, traditional natural resource management methods and techniques founded upon the tribal social structure. Despite the severity and scope of natural and anthropogenic threats, the community continue to fight to keep themselves and the territory alive. With the full participation of the elders and representatives of the community, we carried out a comprehensive cognition and participatory analysis of Chahdegal territory through facilitatory techniques and anthropological methods such as PAR, PRA, participatory GIS, and in-depth interviews. In this presentation, we depict the governance institution of the peoples in the Chahdegal and describe how they sustain their livelihood and conserve biodiversity in their territories of life. By addressing the threats and challenges, we analyse the functional capacity of their institution for nature conservation and human well-being.

Panel P043b
Territories of Life: Wellsprings of Biocultural Relationship and Resurgence