A Critical Report on Several Decades’ Activities in the Universities, Research Institutes and Executive Organizations in the Field of Soil Erosion and Conservation in Iran

Document Type : Review


Soil Science Departments, Faculty of Agricultural Engineering and Technology, University of Tehran, Karaj, Iran


Soil erosion and sediment yield are the most widespread causes of soil, land and environmental degradation in Iran. All soil erosion types are occurring widely across Iran territory due to high susceptibility of soils, poor vegetation, arid and semi-arid climate, severe topography and mismanagement of land, soil and vegetation. In this paper, while reviewing the current estimates of water, wind, gully and other forms of soil erosion, and sediment yield; the history of educational, executive and research activities in this field in the country are critically reviewed. Also, some of the laws and legal documents have been reviewed, and while several national committees are introduced, their important achievements are presented. Educational, executive and research activities in the field of soil conservation began in the late-1950s in Iran. Postgraduate education, scientific publications, journals and conferences have quantitatively developed very fast during the last two decades, but their quality and adaptation to the country needs are questionable. While trying to respond the country's needs, the research sectors in the field also face problems and challenges, espacially their research findings are not implemented. The executive sector has not been able to overcome the increasing trend of soil degradation due to the country size, the severity and diversity of degradation, the lack of enough budget and experienced technical experts across the country, and excessive reliance on structural methods of soil conservation. It seems that the whole organization, relations and interactions of the sectors of soil conservation and management system in the country are disrupted and inefficient due to various internal and external factors. To overcome the current unstable situation, an intellectual governance is needed in which the needs, laws and policies of soil conservation and management are formed by participation of stakeholders and in a multifaceted interaction of education, research and executive sectors.


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