Livelihoods in this region are strongly interlinked with and dependent on the wetland products and services.The reed beds provide fodder for livestock, fuel for cooking and heating, and raw materials for handicraft and constructions. Fishing and hunting represent an important source of income for many households.
This fundamental dependence on the wetlands has resulted in the collapse of the local economy during this latest drought period. Severe water shortages have destroyed the ecological system of the wetlands and caused damage to agriculture in the delta, which is primarily based on irrigation from the Helmand River. The estimated population in the region is several hundred thousand, mostly living in Iran. On the Iranian side, the government has made considerable efforts to stabilize and maintain the local population by providing food, work and other services to meet the basic needs of the people. Loss of traditional livelihoods has resulted in emigration and a major expansion of the unofficial economy, particularly the smuggling of oil products.
- UNEP Post Post-Conflict Branck
- Place published
- Date / journal vol no.
- History of Environmental Change in the Sistan Basin - Based on Satellite Image Analysis: 1976-2005, May 2006.