MENARID - Institutional Strengthening and Coherence for Integrated Natural Resource Management


What is the Project About?

The MENARID project strengthens institutions by contributing to the removal of constraints to integrated natural resources management (INRM), through three main outcomes:

  • Identify the main drivers of ecosystem use and change and their impacts on both ecosystem services and local livelihoods.
  • Enable improved INRM practices.
  • Enable improved community-driven approaches and techniques for INRM and ecosystem management.

MENARID provides valuable lessons and experiences for promoting INRM in arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid environments, not only of the Middle East and North Africa but also in other regions suffering severe land degradation and loss of ecosystem services. A notable and innovative feature of this project is its multi-focal area approach that builds a body of lessons and experiences on how to coordinate SLM in complex, degraded landscapes and how to create synergies between focal areas in order to maximize results.

What Have We Accomplished So Far?

The project has accomplished a number of measures to achieve the expected outcomes, the main ones are as follow:

  1. Capacity building, knowledge sharing, increasing awareness and motivating all stakeholders from policy makers to local communities to participate in INRM activities, such as holding training workshops for men, women, youth and children of the pilot sites and also for specialists and journalists, exposure visits from “Best Practices” in regions with similar ecological, social and economic circumstances, Holding technical workshops and seminars on different issues related to INRM, as well as seminars to present MENARID and its influences on the pilot sites, cooperation with SGP to share its lesson learned with the MENARID local communities, following South-South cooperation through study on importing Chinese innovation on green houses in the pilot sites.
  2. Providing opportunities for Alternative Livelihood which adjusts with ecological and cultural situation of each pilot site with emphasize on women participation, such as carpet weaving, sewing and Giveh weaving by women, bee keeping, planting medical herbs and seedlings by men and women. The seedlings are sold to provincial FRWO in each province.
  3. Implementing INRM projects such as projects on land and water management, adaptation and mitigation to climate change, optimum efficiency of water resources, land degradation control, watershed management, sustainable agriculture, and conservation of biodiversity, Payment for Environmental Services and carbon sequestration. 
  4. Planning and institutional strengthening on INRM via mobilization and coordination of communities and governance systems towards participatory and integrated approaches to strategic planning, through establishing four following committees;
  • National steering committee, under supervision of Agriculture Jihad Deputy Minister;
  • Provincial monitoring and planning committee, under supervision of Provincial Governor;
  • Provincial technical committee;
  • Watershed integrated management committee, under supervision of Township Governor.

Who Finances It?

Global Environment Facility (GEF)

US $4,320,000.00


US $400,000.00

Government Of I.R. Iran (Parallel Funding)

US $14,600,000.00

Delivery in Previous Fiscal Year



Global Environment Facility (GEF)

US $793,000.00


US $38,000.00

Government Of I.R. Iran (Parallel Funding)

US $430,000.00 (cash)

US $350,000.00 (in kind)


Project Highlights:

  • Presenting IWM model based on MENARID implementations and experiences to FRWO and tasked the provincial FRWOs to implement it;
  • Membership in think tank of Vice Presidency for Deprived Areas and Rural Development;
  • Appreciation of Head of Islamic Parliament Research Center for MENARID approach and pattern on IWM and his request to replicate it to other provinces in the country particularly provinces around Orumieh lake;
  • Selection “Kamkooyeh Village Governor” as premier plans of the country and among 130 plans in “The Fourth National Festival on Village Governors Plans”- Interior Ministry. Kamkooyeh is one of the MENARID pilot sites in Yazd province;
  • Selection MENARID experiences as a successful pattern to support positive economic, social and environmental links between urban, peri - urban and rural areas by strengthening national and regional development planning by Iranian Urban Development and Revitalization Corporation- Ministry of Roads and Urban Development. 
  • Addressing MENARID IWM activities as one of the Iran’s valuable potential by UNESCO evaluator in order to approve establishment of the first international IWM center in Iran;   
  • Taking part in the first “ National Exhibition of Water, Soil and Environment Technologies” held by Vice Presidency for Science and Technology which led to select SMLWR project as premier national plan among all ( Hablehroud is one the MENARID pilot sites).  
  • Producing “Financial and Monitoring” Software for international projects on environment and natural resources management in Iran under Joint Secretary;
  • Identification of constraints to INRM, provide INRM road map and review INRM policies to determine conflicts.
  • Initiate combined watershed based and District level strategic planning – with support of four institutional layers, including national Ministry of Jihad Agriculture (Forests, Range and Watershed Organization), Provincial Governor General, District Governor and Community Councils / Committees in Yazd and Kermansh provinces.
  • Returning 50 ha occupied nationalized lands by 90 people from Razin village (one of the project pilot villages in Kermanshah province) voluntarily due to the project capacity building. The area was afforested with suitable spices for area.   
  • This action resulted 200,000 US$ decreases in legal procedure costs and three years’ time saving.
  • Create 82 types of alternative livelihoods, which led to more than 500 local people have job in the pilot villages.   
  • 37.076 tons Carbon sequestered through INRM practices in the pilot sites during 2 years.
  • Promote new clean energy techniques at community levels through establishing more than 50 solar water heaters based on people requisitions.
  • Held “Integrated Watershed Management” and “ Result Base Management” for technical committee members in provinces;
  • Broadcast a documentary about “ MENARID and its implementation” on IRIB, channel two;
  • Dissemination and broadcast around 200 news on MENARID activities in national and provincial media include IRIB, news agencies and newspapers,  
  • Held “Environmental Journalism” workshop for journalists includes 50 men and 36 women in three provinces of Yazd, Kermanshah and Sistan and Baluchistan.
  • In Sistan and Baluchistan, provincial journalists visited MENARID pilot site and interviewed with communities as well.  
  • Train more than 2000 students in pilot villages in Yazd, Kermanshah and Sistan and Baluchistan provinces on natural resources values and INRM through some scientific visits.
  • “Comprehensive assessment of monetary and non-monetary trade-off costs of ecosystem services degradation” which led to prepare Farsi and English reports.  
  • Establishment of Cultural- Educational Centers includes library, toy house and anthropological museum in pilot villages in Yazd and Sistan and Baluchistan.
  • Construction of Water Reservoir Pools with impervious layer called geo membrane in Sistan and Baluchistan to improve the irrigation water and controlling evaporation.
  • Establishment of rural planning and development groups in three pilot sites that supervised some small groups:
  1. Yazd: 4 rural planning and development groups + 40 small groups in each villages;
  2. Kermanshah: 7 rural planning and development groups, which 4 of them are women small group in villages;
  3. Sistan and Baluchistan: 4 rural planning and development groups + 36 small groups totally in all villages. 
  • Implementation around 3856 SLM (Sustainable Land Management) practices totally in the 4 pilot sites.
  • 5  types of resilience-enhancing measures employed in 13714 ha at 4 demonstration sites that include;   Wind erosion control in Sistan: 50 ha (20 ha new  in this reporting period), Flood control and Soil erosion control 12500 ha (5000 ha in Kermanshah and 6000 ha in Hablehrud are new in this reporting period), sustainable agriculture 40 ha (33 ha in Kermanshah and 7 ha in Yazd are new in this reporting period), cultivation resistance species, (Medical plant cultivation, wild almond cultivation, pistachio and saffron cultivation to use less water): 1124 ha, (1024ha new in this reporting period).  Totally 2208 persons (361 new persons (men and women) involved in the project management
  • Designed, Implemented and Impact Assessment “Payment for Environmental Services” projects in around 100 ha in the pilot provinces to prevent land degradation and natural resources conservation. 
  • Development of a frame work for replication of “Payment for Environment Services” at national level by assistance of an International environmental economic consultant.