ORIGINAL RESEARCH
A Quantitative Analysis of Socioeconomic Impacts of Sea Level Rise on the Anzali International Coastal Wetland
Roya Mousazadeh1, Hamidreza Ghaffarzadeh2, Jafar Nouri1, Alireza Gharagozlou3, Mehdi Farahpour4
 
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1Department of Environmental Management, Graduate School of the Environment and Energy,
Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran
2Department of Environmental Economics, Graduate School of the Environment and Energy,
Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran
3Geomatics College of National Cartographic Center of Iran (NCC), Tehran, Iran
4Faculty Member of Research Institute of Forests and Rangelands,
KM Expert MENARID GEF and Iranian Joint Projects, Tehran, Iran
Online publish date: 2017-05-26
Publish date: 2017-05-26
Submission date: 2016-04-18
Final revision date: 2016-07-02
Acceptance date: 2016-07-05
 
Pol. J. Environ. Stud. 2017;26(3):1173–1181
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ABSTRACT
This is a two-phase study to investigate the socioeconomic impacts of the Caspian Sea Level Rise (CSLR) on Anzali International Wetland at the southern fringe of the Caspian Sea. In the first phase, a Landsat satellite image (2013) and digital elevation model (DEM) of the wetland were used to determine the areas vulnerable to the CSLR-induced flooding under four water level rise scenarios of 0.2 m, 0.6 m, 1 m, and 1.4 m. Then in the second phase, the possible effects of the CSLR on some market values of Anzali Wetland and the livelihood of the wetland-dependent communities were assessed based on the loss of agricultural and fishing products (as two main sources of livelihood for local people), as well as the loss of different land uses surrounding the wetland. According to the results, under the most optimistic CSLR scenario of 0.2 m, the wetland area will be expanded from 19,095 to 24,942 ha, while an expansion of 19,353 ha (from the current area of 19,095 ha to 38,448 ha) is expected under the most pessimistic CSLR scenario of 1.4 m. This will affect a minimum number of eight villages, including 4,518 inhabitants (under the CSLR scenario of 0.2 m) and a maximum number of 41 villages including 22,493 inhabitants (under the 1.4 CSLR scenario). These people will have to displace and move from their homes, which leads to several social ills. Depending on the severity of water level rise under various scenarios, 545, 646, 670, and 699 ha of the total area (790 ha) of fish ponds will be destructed, and total numbers of 70, 76, 83, and 93 units out of the 172 active industrial units are predicted to be inundated. In sum, the total loss values (damage to agriculture and fish farming) under the CSLR scenarios of 0.2, 0.6, 1, and 1.4 m were estimated to be $63 million (USD), $117 million, $151 million, and $184 million, respectively. Our research findings can help policy makers develop proper adaptation measures to prohibit or reduce the possible socio-economic damage caused by the CSLR in the future.
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ISSN:1230-1485