Sustainability Science

, Volume 8, Issue 4, pp 543–551 | Cite as

Sustainable forest management in Iran: a factor analysis

  • Hossein Azadi
  • Davood Samari
  • Kiumarz Zarafshani
  • Gholamhossein Hosseininia
  • Frank Witlox
Original Article


Since 1996, several Forest Resources Management Plans (FRMPs) have been launched by the Iranian government in order to approach sustainable forest management in the Zagros area in west and south-west Iran. This survey study aimed to provide some policy recommendations in order to launch more successful FRMPs. Using a proportional cluster random sampling method, data were collected from 208 forest-dwellers (beneficiaries) and 90 practitioners. The results showed that the FRMPs are far from satisfactory. There are several reasons for this failure. First, the financial resources allocated to these plans are being used for other purposes. Second, the inputs and supplies needed for effective forest management interventions were not in place in a timely manner. Third, the forest management in the area is far from being decentralized. Both the beneficiaries and practitioners believe that forest-dwellers play a weak role in forest management interventions. Factor analysis revealed that three main factors influencing the Zagros management effectiveness are “the management capabilities of forest-dwellers”, “the professional capabilities of practitioners in forest management”, and “public support for forest-dwellers”. The correlation analysis revealed that all the three factors are also positively and significantly associated with the success of the government’s forestry programs. Accordingly, the main recommendation of this study was to reformulate forest management policies in the Zagros area by highlighting participatory approaches, not only as a tool, but also as a goal of FRMPs.


Forestry Sustainable forest management Participation Factor analysis Human factor Zagros 



The corresponding author, who is a beneficiary of a mobility grant from the Belgian Federal Science Policy Office co-funded by the Marie Curie Actions from the European Commission, wishes to thank Dr. Mairtin McNamara and Ms. Lena Bigelow for improving the English of the text.


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Copyright information

© Springer 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hossein Azadi
    • 1
  • Davood Samari
    • 2
  • Kiumarz Zarafshani
    • 3
  • Gholamhossein Hosseininia
    • 4
  • Frank Witlox
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of GeographyGhent UniversityGhentBelgium
  2. 2.Department of Agricultural Extension and Education, Garmsar BranchIslamic Azad UniversitySemnanIran
  3. 3.Department of Agricultural Extension and Rural DevelopmentRazi UniversityKermanshahIran
  4. 4.Department of Entrepreneurship in Technology, Faculty of EntrepreneurshipTehran UniversityTehranIran

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