Conservation Of Iranian Wetlands Project - Phase II (Scale-up)

 The second phase of the CIWP project aims to roll out the results and achievements the first phase throughout the country

Conservation Of Iranian Wetlands Project -Phase II (Scale-up):

This scale-up phase aims to roll out the results and achievements of Conservation of Iranian Wetlands Project (CIWP), a joint initiative among the GOIR of Iran (led by the Department of Environment as IP), GEF and UNDP, which started in 2005 and ended on 30 April 2013. Duration of this scale-up phase is from 1 May, 2013, to 31 Dec., 2016. The Goal of this project is to enhance the effectiveness and sustainability of Iran’s system of wetland protected areas as a tool for conserving globally significant biodiversity and it will take CIWP successful pilot to a large scale by establishing ecosystem based wetland management plans and inter-sectoral coordination structures for 12 (9 new wetlands + 3 demonstration sites) important Iranian wetlands, Put in place strong wetlands ecosystem management legislative platform and inter-sectoral administrative structures at national level, supporting implementation of the “Ecosystem Approach” in important Iranian wetlands and share CIWP and other wetlands management initiatives, knowledge and lessons learnt with the neighboring countries.


"Contribution to Lake Urmia Restoration via local community participation in sustainable agriculture and biodiversity conservation"

Based on mutual high-level arrangements between governments of Iran and Japan to cooperate in the field of environment and due to the critical situation of Lake Urmia, a special initiative has been made possible by a 2,000,000 $ grant provided by Government of Japan to UNDP in 2014 and 2015 in order to contribute to this critical initiative as a result of the consultations between the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran and Japan under the title of "Contribution to Lake Urmia Restoration via local community participation in sustainable agriculture and biodiversity conservation".

This project will specifically address the restoration of Lake Urmia mainly through effective reduction of water/agricultural chemical input consumption at farm level by engaging local community and farmers applying sustainable agriculture techniques. It is expected that this approach would lead to increase of inflow to the lake as well protect the biodiversity focusing on the island habitat of two main IUCN red list species. At the same time there would also be direct biodiversity protection by implementing water harvesting project in one of key wildlife island habitats. 


What Have We Accomplished So Far

 The project aims to roll out the results and achievements of Conservation of Iranian Wetlands Project (CIWP) throughout the country

Some of the information presented here portrays the accomplishments made during the scale-up phase of the CIWP and sustainable agriculture project.

At 3 Previous Demonstration Sites:

  • Revision  process of LP integrated management plan almost finalized.
  • Revision process of LU integrated management plan initiated. In this regard, CIWP engaged Lake Urmia Restoration Committee in the process through which LURC agreed to contribute the necessary fund to complete the revision process.

At 9 New Prioritized Wetlands:

  • The Management Plan for Chogakhor, Helle, Zarivar, and Hamoon were developed and approved by Provincial Council for planning and development.
  • The Management Plan for Harra-Minab, Mighan as well as Alaghol complex wetlands are at their final stages of development.
  • One of the priority actions of developed Management Plans for Helle, Chogakhor, Hara-Minab and Alaghol complex wetlands were selected and are under implementation by local NGOs. Besides, 3 priority actions of developed Management Plan for Zarivar are under implementation by Local NGOs.
  • The management plan for the two LU satellite wetlands (Gharegheshlagh and Ghorigol) finalized  and implementation initiated.
  • Technical capacity at national level through training and engaging  NGOs and wetland secretariats at provincial level Improved.

Key Achievements:

  • Implementation of the CIWP Resource Development Plan (RDP) is overseen by a Task Force comprising representatives of UNDP, DOE and CIWP, with focal points appointed for implementation in CIWP and UNDP. A fundraising brochure including concept notes for 7 projects has been published.
  • CIWP had a strong contribution in preparation of the 6th National Development Plan which has led to 4 Articles about wetland management and sustainable use in the plan. This is a great achievement establishing supporting laws and regulations for next national development plan.
  • Engagement of CIWP in cooperation with IUCN for conservation of transboundary wetlands which is leading to a regional cooperation for the management of Govatar bay transboundary wetland.
  • CIWP started an intern program which provided 3 positions for the applicants to build their capacities for further cooperation in development project.

At Sustainable Agriculture Project:

Local community and farmers of 75 villages were introduced to participatory sustainable agriculture techniques as well as the significance of their role in Lake Urmia restoration through capacity building activities implemented by Local Agricultural Engineering Companies and the NGOs.

Key Achievements:

  • Intersectoral collaboration between DoE, MoJA, Regional Water Authority (RWA), Local NGOs and the private sector is significantly improved through project participatory approach in decision making and implementation phases of the project.
  • Making LU restoration a social responsibility has been one of project main goals. In this regard, a significant change in farmers’ behavior and a social movement to save water for LU restoration is observed in all 75 pilot sites and beyond.
  • At least 250 agricultural experts mainly from local agricultural engineering companies and MoJA are directly engaged in project implementation.
  • Capacity building on participatory approach and facilitation techniques for at least 150 local experts.
  • Capacity building on irrigation management at farm level for more than 200 local experts.
  • Capacity building on GIS, documentation and reporting for at least 100 local experts.
  • More than 8000 farmers have received training on sustainable agriculture techniques focusing on water/chemical saving at farm level.  
  • An average of 30% water saving as well as 40% agricultural chemical saving at farm level, as reported by Independent Monitoring Team (IMT).
  • More than 60 Participatory Action Plans are developed for the main cultivated crops in LU basin.  
  • Several participatory exhibitions on sustainable agriculture technologies were organized through which more than 1,000 farmers were exposed to water/chemical saving techniques aiming at LU restoration.

Who Finances It

UNDP, Government of I.R. Iran (Parallel Funding), Government of Japan


US $448,000

Government Of I.R. Iran (Parallel Funding)

US $500,000

Government of Japan

US $2,000,000


Delivery in Previous Fiscal Year

  1. CIWP Phase II (Scale-up): US $129,000
  2. Government of Iran: US $1,325,000
  3. CIWP (Restoration of Lake Urmia): US $899.000
Project Highlights
  • The project aims to roll out the results and achievements of Conservation of Iranian Wetlands Project (CIWP) throughout the country.
  • 10 important Iranian wetlands will have ecosystem based wetland management plans and inter-sectoral coordination structures.
  • Selected priority actions of Management Plan for the 10 aforementioned wetlands are under implementation by local NGOs.
  • knowledge and lessons learnt within CIWP will be shared with the neighboring countries and others.
  • Agricultural land of 75 villages in  Lake Urmia basin introduced to sustainable agriculture practices resulting in an average of 30% water saving and more than 40% Agricultural Chemical Input saving.
  • Local community awareness and capacities for their role in LU restoration and sustainable agriculture raised in pilot sites conducted by local NGOs.
  • Water harvesting options reviewed and one piloted in Kabodan Island of lake Urmia ensuring sustainable water supply for conserving biodiversity.
  • Alternative livelihood initiated in 2 pilot sites to introduce water friendly livelihood aiming at LU restoration.
  • Local Water Management networks initiated in 2 pilot sites to utilize local potential on better water management.
  • A public awareness raising campaign as well as an ITC based awareness raising campaign are initiated to make wetland conservation/restoration a social responsibility.