Comparative study of special areas for conservation in forests and rangelands laws of Iran, France, and South Africa

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of Forest and Forest Economics, Faculty of Natural Resources, University of Tehran, Karaj, Iran

2 Department of law, Mashhad Branch, Islamic Azad University, Mashhad, Iran


Special areas for conservation are the natural sites with valuable natural components which are managed through relevant organizations. Suggesting and establishing these areas, along with the other IUCN common areas designated for ecosystem conservation and protection will strengthen the conservation of ecosystems and their functions. The status of subjects in the Iranian statute law regarding forests and rangelands is often ambiguous or neglected and needs to be updated. In this regard, by using comparative law, the strengths and weaknesses of domestic law can be examined and the necessary amendments can be proposed. This research is a comparative study of forest and rangeland statutes in Iran, France, and South Africa regarding the allocation of areas with special management regimes, outside the common area for protection established by the environmental laws. This comparative study has been conducted in five steps including 1- defining research scopes, 2- Describing, 3- Comparing, 4- Explaining, and 5- Evaluating and proposing suggestions. The results showed that special areas for conservation in Natural Resources Organization (NRO) territory include 1- Natural and biological reserves, 2- Biological heritage and biodiversity, and 3- Sensitive and fragile ecosystems, mainly managed according to conservation measurements. It seems that South Africa has the most suitable legal system in this regard by granting special permissions to the Minister to establish special conservation zones, using scientific advice in determining the minimum area for conservation, considering suggestions and objections, as well as criteria, indicators, and standards for biodiversity conservation. We provide suggestions to amend and update domestic law on this subject and establish special areas for the conservation of NRO management regimes.


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