Qeshm Island, Southern Iran

Community-Led Conservation and Ecotourism

Qeshm Island, Southern Iran

thumbnail of Iran Community Story

View the CCRN’s Qeshm Island Community Story as a PDF

Qeshm Island is the largest island in the Persian Gulf, Southern Iran, and, in 2007, was the only Geo-Park in the Middle East. The people of Qeshm Island have a strong connection to the land and sea. This connection, and sense of environmental belonging, have encouraged them to actively participate in community conservation. However, the local communities on Qeshm Island face numerous threats and obstacles to sustainable development, including: lack of recognition, inappropriate tourism, climate change, acculturation, inappropriate development, false jobs, overfishing, pollution, capacity for oil/gas/mineral exploration, habitat reduction, hot weather, limited fresh water resources and lack of appropriate infrastructure. To address these obstacles, the people of Qeshm Island are looking to utilize the Island’s sacred sites and species which can provide a foundation for community-based conservation areas. The appreciation for the benefits of conservation, together with the recognition of the Island’s eco-tourism potential, has led to local interest in building a community-based marine and coastal conservation area on Qeshm Island. Ecotourism offers economic, ecological and conversation benefits to the residents of Qeshm Island, while being respectful to the local culture and new forms of livelihood.

(Note: The featured image shows a fishing trap known as Gargoor, it looks like a very large lobster trap with a curved frame. In the past, this trap was made with wood and palm branches, but today it is made with wire and polyethylene pipes, increasing its catching power.)

See below for the Persian language abstract for this community story, ” جزیره قشم، جنوب ایران , راهبری حفاظت با مشارکت جامعه و اکوتوریسم”