A Comparative Study of Rangeland Governance in Iran before and After the Rangeland Nationalization enactment: property rights rules Application related to Elinor Ostrom Institutional Analysis Model

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Imam Sadiq University

2 Assistant Prof., Department of Public Administration, Faculty of Islamic Studies and Management, Imam Sadiq University, Tehran,

3 Assistant Prof. Department of Public Administration, Faculty of Islamic Studies and Management, Imam Sadiq University, Tehran,


One of the vital and valuable capacities of the country is "common resources". By definition, with public use of common resources, the amount is reduced and limited. One of these resources is pastures. In our country, an area of about 52% of the country's area, which is more than 80 million hectares, includes pastures. This valuable capacity is the basis of various businesses including livestock, medicinal plants, fish farming and tourism. Socially, the livelihood of about 916,000 rural and nomadic families depends on the use of pastures. In other words, rangelands are the basis for the formation of businesses and activities of indigenous communities.
What plays a role in the prosperity of sustainable exploitation of pastures on the one hand and its protection and restoration is the type of rules of governance and exploitation. Therefore, the question arises as to how, on the one hand, while using these pastures economically and productively, there can be no monopoly, greed and injustice in their use, and while observing inter generational justice, these resources in the form of Stable to continue.
Pastures have traditionally been managed by indigenous and local communities in the country. In this way, with the formation of socio-ecologic systems, the natives of each region used their own mechanisms to exploit and revive resources. Apart from the shortcomings and deficiencies observed in these traditional institutions and sub-systems that have been formed over the years, they have also brought benefits to the country. Among other things, they decentralized and non governmental their prosperity, security and regulation. But with social and legal change, there was a shift towards institutional arrangements and rangeland governance. The passage of the Law on the Nationalization of Forests and Rangeland in the 1940s was a turning point that affected the rules of exploitation and left its mark. In this article, by comparing the rules in the rangeland governance system, the cause of the consequences is investigated.
In this research, for data analysis, an institutional analysis framework based on the IAD conceptual model is used, which describes the rules that are affected by physical and social conditions at three levels. In this model, rules are classified into three levels: "constitutional rules", "collective choice rules" and "operational rules ".
The approach used in this research is of a qualitative type that is used to deeply describe life experiences and understand and interpret their meaning. For this purpose, the semi-structured interview technique with different stakeholders in this section has been used. In a semi-structured interview, the interview questions are pre-defined and all respondents are asked the same questions. But they are free to respond in any way. Library and legal documents have also been used throughout the text to verify the findings. All in all in this assay as an interdisciplinary field we faced with limitations including limited space to express the method, results and details.
Discussions and results
The method used in the analysis is "thematic analysis" of data collected as a result of interviews and study of anthropological documents and sources. After encoding the data using Maxqda software, 472 open source codes were categorized into 157 basic themes. What shapes the "rules in action" in the rangeland governance system are the physical and social conditions. These two components form the " constitutional rules", "collective selection rules" and "operational rules" at three levels. Relying on themes, a description of the rules of governance and rangeland management in the traditional system and the existing rangeland management system has been provided.
One of the most constitutional rules in the exploitation of pastures is the "property right". This right determines what relationship the farmer has with the pasture and how much of the right to exploit, manage and even transfer and sell. Prior to the nationalization of rangelands, the rules of exploitation were such that in addition to the right to access and use the rangelands, the users had the right to transfer their own private rangeland to another; In this system of ownership, the exploiters had a kind of belonging to the natural field and while sustainable exploitation endogenously protected and revived the rangeland.
As a result of this article, it was found that the role of local users, especially nomads, has been vital in the traditional rangeland system. The nationalization of rangelands has changed the rules in the rangeland management system and has left undesirable consequences that have resulted from the deprivation of property rights and management of users. Undoubtedly, the need for these changes in the country's rangeland management system and strengthening the internal motivation of farmers to protect, rehabilitate and sustainable use of rangelands, repeal the "Law on Nationalization of Forests and Rangelands" and amend the law on natural resources. What should be the focus of this law is the transfer of the right of choice and management to the beneficiaries, namely the nomadic and rural community, to reduce as much as possible the government's tenure and decision-making, especially at the operational level. To achieve this, it is necessary to consider and apply the popular approach at different levels of rules. This approach has been considered in the macro policies of the country. For example, in the "General Policies of Natural Resources", which specifically addresses the issue of governance and effective use of natural resources with the participation of the people and the strengthening of education in this sector. With the entry of the public sector in the form of cooperative, private and other non-governmental mechanisms of the NGO, which is commensurate with the social and ecologic institution of the country, the total financial and human costs of government to protect and rehabilitate rangelands will be reduced. Designing such a mechanism or institution requires research, refinement, and application of religious, civilizational, and universal teachings.


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