Environmental Screening of Strategic Actions of Rural Developmentn With Emphasis on Strategic Plan For Economic Development In Khuzestan Province

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Ph.D. student in geography and rural planning, faculty of geography, university of tehran, tehran,iran.

2 full professor in geography and rural planning, faculty of geography, university of Tehran, Tehran,iran;

3 University of Tehran - Faculty of Geography - Human Geography Department - associate professor in Geography and Rural Planning


Introduction: Today, efforts to integrate the principles and objectives of sustainability and the combination of environmental along with economic and social considerations as the main target of planners and policy makers in the field of rural development. In this context, strategic approaches to environmental assessment can be available as a powerful tool for reaching the above goal for decision-makers of rural development. Based on several decades of development planning experience in Iran, efforts to achieve rapid economic growth have caused that the integrity of environmental, economic and social considerations not considered in many national and regional and local development initiatives and as a result, have significant damage to the human and natural environment in many parts of the country. Especially, it is very important for rural areas of khuzestan province which have a direct dependence on natural resources and environmental resources for meet your livelihood needs. The purpose of this study is to use environmental screening in relation to the strategic actions of rural development and with emphasizing on the strategic document of economic development in khuzestan province as one of the most important of strategic measures in the urban and rural development of khuzestan province.
The present study was an applied research based on the objective and type, while it was classified in the descriptive and analytical studies group in terms of nature and methodology. The screening process has been conducted by using checklists and matrices in the Fuzzy Delphi framework. In this research, 26 of environmental experts and intellectualin planning areas have been asked to participate in various levels of data collection. According to the methodology framework, the screening process has been carried out based on three key structures and components A: the characteristics of strategic action, B: characteristics of the environmental effects and C: the area likely to be covered and affected and also 27 environmental screening criteria. In addition, in order to make a final decision, three essential conditions were identified as a prerequisite for deciding whether to accept or reject the environmental significance of strategic action. Among the three conditions, the first condition of the structural distances is less than the threshold of 0.2 in relation to acceptance or rejection of the structures, and the second condition is the percentage of the consensus of the experts and the decision group higher than the threshold of 0.75 and the third condition The criterion rating in the structure is based on the definite values of significance above the threshold of 0.7 in relation to the screening criteria.
Results and discussion
Screening results showed that the strategic action has significant environmental impactin in terms of key structures such as content characteristics, environmental impacts, and geographic coverage and its implementation will have a significant potential impact on the environment of rural areas. The results showed that according to first prerequisite, the specific value of threshold value,d-construct (Tvd-c) estimated for three key structures and components such as A: the characteristics of strategic action, B: characteristics of the environmental effects and c: the area likely to be covered and affected respectively was 0.005, 0.007, and 0.01 and lower the threshold value of 0.2. So, represents a high level of decision-making agreement about the environmental significance of "strategic document for economic development of khuzestan province". According to the data collected from consensus of experts, estimated values for environmental screening criteria including (A1) the degree to which the strategic action sets a framework for projects and other activities; (A2) the degree to which the strategic action influences other PPS including those in a hierarchy; and (A4) environmental problems relevant to the strategic action is above the threshold (0.7) and the estimated values for (A3) the relevance of the strategic action for the integration of environmental considerations in particular with a view to promoting sustainable development and (A5) the relevance of the strategic action for the implementation of community legislation on the environment is below the threshold (0.7). Furthermore, the results showed that based on second prerequisite (consensus of experts (above 75%)) and third prerequisite (Crisp values (above 0.7)), the definite amount of risk of environmental outcomes on livelihoods and welfare of rural communities is equal to (0.79) and on environmental health and natural resources equal to (0.78) and for (a) the probability, duration, frequency and reversibility of the effects, transboundary nature of the effects is above the threshold (0.7) and which is significant. In addition, the environmental significance of the above-mentioned strategic document, from the aspect of the geographical area and size of the population likely to be affected including populated and high-density areas, habitats with natural landscape, intensive land used areas and areas affected by current environmental problemshave been evaluated higher than "remarkable''.

According to the principles of sustainable development theory, attention to the environment and the goals of sustainability and the integration of environmental considerations must be made at all levels of strategic decision-making. In rural development planning system, strategic approaches to environmental assessment including Strategic Environmental Screening Process (SES), can be used as a powerful tool for achieving the above goal and for Mainstreaming environmental considerations alongside socioeconomic issues. In this research, based on the results of the strategic environmental screening, the "strategic document for economic development of khuzestan province" in relation to the key structures and components such as A: the characteristics of strategic action, B: characteristics of the environmental effects and c: the area likely to be covered and affected and as well as many of the screening criteria including environmental impacts on livelihoods and welfare of villagers, impact on environmental health and natural resources has significant environmental impactin and its implementation will have a significant potential impact on the human and natural environment of rural areas in khuzestan province. Therefore, it is suggested that in order to change and modify the policies and development strategies the strategic action to be reviewed and or subject to strategic environmental assessment.


Main Subjects

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