we are coastal communities of Qeshm, Hengam, Larak, and Hormuz Islands we have been conserving our natural resources through traditional knowledge and customary management systems for hundreds of years

this document is our bio-cultural protocol which introduces our identity, lifstyle, natural environment, and our specific traditional knowledge and methods for natural resources management

This bio-cultural protocol contains the following titles

Where we are
Who we are type of settlement, social structure, livelihood, ceremonies, traditions, and beliefs, traditional custom, language, traditional foods
our ecosystems and their biodiversity marine & coastal, andterrestrial ecosystems and biodiversity
Where and how our cultural/ natural assets are recognized
Qeshm Geopark, protected areas, biosphere reserves, Ramsar sites, and Important Bird Areas (IBAs), Ecologically or Biologically Significant Marine Areas (EBSAs), intangible cultural heritages, Hormuz Island soil carpet
Natural resources management systems traditional fishing methods, water resources management
Successful case studies in conservation and livelihoods

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Where we are

Qeshm Island with an area of 1491 km2 is the largest island in the Persian Gulf. It is situated in the Strait of Hormuz, where Persian Gulf and Oman Gulf connect. The nearest mainland port to Qeshm Island is Bandar Abbas with 20km (10.8 nautical mile) distance. The closest point of the island to the mainland is Laft port which is located 1800km far from Pohl port in the mainland
Political divisions as well as ecological and cultural features, integrates Qeshm Island with three nearby islands: Hormuz, Hengam, and Larak. Hengam Island is 33.6 sq. km in area and is located facing the southern coasts of Qeshm Island. It is about 92 nautical miles from Qeshm city. The island is made of lime hills. Its biggest diameter from Old Hengam village to New Hengam village is 9 km. Larak Island has an area of 84.7 sq. km and is located 81 nautical miles from Bandar Abbas and 6 nautical miles from Qeshm city. It is located to the northeast of the city. Larak Island is made up of conical volcanic mountains. It has a number of salt springs and very beautiful beaches Hormuz Island has an area of 14.9 sq. km and is located 10 nautical miles southeast of Bandar Abbas. It is made of sedimentary and igneous stones while salt layers have covered big parts of the island in the form of hills. Its highest point is 186 m above the sea level and the biggest diameter of the island is 8 km
According to Islamic Republic of Iran political division, Qeshm, Hengam, Larak, and Hormuz Islands are placed in Hormozgan Province, Qeshm County

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Who we are

Type of Settlement

There are 60 villages and 3 cities in Qeshm Island and most of the villages are spread in the west half of the island. Hengam Island contains three villages: Mashi (New Hengam), Old Hengam , and Ghil. The only residential part of Hormuz Island is Hormuz city. Larak-e Shahri is the only village in Larak Island
In the past, Qeshm local people used to migrate to their summering places inside the island or ports in the mainland (such as Minab city) in summer to manage their palm orchards or work in others’ palm orchards

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Social structure

Based on the 1395 (2016) census, total population of Qeshm County is 148993 from which 66801 is urban population and 82160 is rural population. Total population is about 7.5% of total provincial population. Moreover, land area is 1626 Km2 which is 2.2% of total provincial land area
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Livelihood

Our main sources of livelihood are fishing, livestock husbandry, trade and maritime transport, palm planting, and handicrafts
Farming, mat weaving used to be more common in the past due to more precipitation
Native wheat and barley breeds and vegetables used to be planted in Qeshm farms. Livestock husbandry used to be on camel, goat, cow, and donkey and at the present, goat, camel, and cow are our main livestock

Our goats are from “Taali” breed and is locally called “Jazirati” goat which is a dairy breed and has elongated body, moderate and fallen ears, fine feet, shiny and very short hair, and mostly no horn
Our camels are from “Jammaz” breed which are thin and very fast and one of the best camel breeds for camel racing

Fishery is our basic source of livelihood. We use many traditional fishing methods based on the season, location and type of the fish or shrimp. The four types of fishstock

that are usually available in our markets are various types of shrimps, shark, cuttlefish, crab, tuna, sardines, grunts, trevallies and pomfret
Gargoor, Moshta, Paroo, Momfi net, Havoori net are some examples of traditional fishing gears

Pearl fishing used to be one of our livelihood sources especially in Hormuz Island

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Skills of making handicrafts is a traditional knowledge and passes through generations of local communities from parents to children or from teachers to learners. The main handicrafts made by Qeshmi women are different kinds of traditional needlework Soozan-doozi, Gholab-doozi, Golabatoun-doozi, Badeleh-doozi, and Khous-doozi

Since the main career of Qeshmi men has been fishing and maritime trading, we have been very skillful in boat building These traditional boats are named Lenj

Tourism is our complementary source of income. Qeshm and adjacent Islands reputation is due not only to its historical background and places but also to its broad ecotourism attractions such as mangrove forest, turtle’s hatchery sites, and coral reefs, diversity of coasts, marine mammals, and geographical phenomena. Thousands of tourists travel to the area every year in order to visit natural and geographical attractions, historical places, beaches and malls and shopping centers. We give some services to the tourists in this regard such as selling handicrafts, serving local foods, Henna painting, etc

Ceremonies, traditions, and believes

Norooze-Sayyad

In late July, we (especially in Salakh village, south of the island) celebrate the Fisherman’s Norooz (Norooz-e Sayyad) which is the start of the new fishing year. We stop fishery and do not eat seafood in this day and believe fish resources need a break for reproduction. Swimming in the sea to be fresh and healthy until the next new fishery year, wearing new clothes and preparing many kinds of traditional foods, all are customs for this day. There are traditional drums and dance as well as traditional games

Wedding ceremony

Wedding ceremonies are being held for several days in bride’s and groom’s parents’ home separately. Some of these ceremonies are: Hana-bandan, saakht (opening and showing off the presents given to the bride and groom), Moloodi-khani, camel racing, hejle. All of the village people are invited in the wedding ceremonies

Zaar ceremony

Zār or Zaar is a religious custom apparently originating in central Ethiopia during the 18th century and later spreading throughout East and North Africa, Egypt, Sudan, Somalia, and south Iran- including Qeshm Island and adjacent islands. Zaar custom involves the possession of an individual (usually female) by a spirit. Most of the Zaar ceremonies of the Qeshm island are held in Salakh village. Zaar ceremonies have their special music. Some of the main musical instruments of the ceremony are Dohol, Dayereh, and Daf. There is a special song for each type of Zar that its language is the blend of African Swahili languages, Arabic and Hindi that sometimes seems incomprehensible even for the old magic therapists

Religious believes

As well as most island dwellers and people of coastal areas in South of Iran, we are Sunni Muslims of Shafei order

Sacred trees

We have some sacred tree species. One of those is fig tree (locally called Loor or Lool). We respect this large trees because of their shade which is very important in hot weather. They have a deep connection to the indigenous life and culture, therefore some of them have a name which come from their nearby village or region. Some of them are like a “Wish tree” and we believe our wishes will be met by the tree

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Tela wells

Tela (Tel+a means mass/stack of water) wells and some trees around them in Laft historical port are sacred for us, said they were 366 wells and each one had a specific name and everyday people just used one of them. Today there are about 100 of them left

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Traditional custom

Cloths and traditional customs are part of every local community’s culture. Our traditional clothes, especially the women’s are very special and look like a mixture of Indian, Persian and African customs
Women’s traditional custom consists of a long dress named Kandooreh, pants with special needle works, a big colored scarf named Leisoo, traditional mask named Borka, and traditional veil named Chida. Some rich women stick golden accessories to their masks. All of the traditional clothes are handmade. There is also a soft scarf with needlework named Jelwi which is used in the wedding ceremonies instead of Leisoo
Men’s custom is a long white dress named Jima or Dishdasha and a white or colored scarf tied around the head. Some men wear Araghchin which is a white hat with holes on it, instead of scarf

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Language

Our local language in Qeshm Island is called “Jazirati” which is a mixture of Iranian Farsi dialects including Larestani, Bandari, Minabi, Arabic, and some Hindi, Zanzibar and Habesha African language, English, and Portuguese
Larak local people speak “Kumzari” language which.Although vulnerable, this language survives today with between 4,000 and 5,000 speakers. It is also spoken by Kumzaris in the Kumzar coast of Musandam Peninsula, northern Oman. This is the only Iranian language spoken exclusively in the Arabian Peninsula

Traditional foods

Because of proximity to the sea, our main diet include a diverse range of seafood

Our Ecosystems and their biodiversity

Marine & coastal ecosystems and biodiversity

Our territory is part of the Strait of Hormuz, a channel approximately 50km wide and 100m deep at its narrowest point that connects the Persian Gulf, a warm, hypersaline, shallow and semi-enclosed sea, to the Gulf of Oman, which is relatively more exposed to the deep component of the Arabian Sea in the North-West Indian Ocean. Qeshm Island and adjacent marine and coastal areas are greatly influenced by the less saline and nutrient-rich oceanic waters from the Indian Ocean, while the inner parts of the Persian Gulf tolerate more saline and less fertile conditions than those prevailing in most of the region. There are two seasons in the area: cold from December to March and warm from April to November

The area plays the most significant role in the ecological and genetic connectivity across the Persian Gulf, Gulf of Oman and the Arabian Sea. This area has a wide range of coastal and marine habitats, including coral reefs, mangrove forests, seagrass beds, estuaries, and rocky, muddy and sandy shores. The coral reefs of the area are among the healthiest coral ecosystems in the Persian Gulf. There are 44 species of hard corals reported from the Persian Gulf; Iran has the highest number, with 37 and 24 species having been reported from Larak and Hengam Islands, respectively, representing the highest biodiversity of hard corals of the area within the Persian Gulf. The Qeshm Island and adjacent coastal and marine areas support significant feeding, breeding and nursery grounds for sea turtles, waterbirds, dolphins, reef fishes, sharks, rays and skates

Our territory consists of two important mangrove forests of Iran, including Hara and Hara-e Khuran protected areas. These mangrove forests are also recognized as wetlands of international importance (Ramsar sites) and important bird areas by BirdLife International (IBAs). Their mangrove forests are monospecific stands of Avicennia marina. Hara and Hara-e Khuran protected areas run between the region of the Mehran and Kul/Rasul (Gol) deltas of the Iranian mainland and Qeshm Island (110km from east to west and up to 20 km across) and are also recognized as a biosphere reserve. Hara biosphere reserve supports the largest mangrove/mudflat ecosystem of the entire Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman, with 100,000ha of mangroves, creeks, mudflats and low islands

At least 120 bird species have been recorded in the Khuran Straits. The mangrove ecosystem of Khuran Straits supports substantial breeding populations of egrets and herons as well as some shorebirds (notably Dromas ardeola and Burhinus recurvirostris) and terns

The extensive mudflats are an extremely important staging and wintering area for shorebirds and gulls, along with smaller numbers of Dalmatian pelican (Pelecanus crispus), Eurasian spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia), Greater flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus) and many other species. The Khuran Straits area holds Iran’s largest colony

of Indian pond heron (Ardeola grayii) (at least 30 pairs), and Striated heron (Butorides striatus) may breed here. The adjacent desertic plains, with scattered thorn trees and palm orchards, support a typical Baluchi avifauna with several primarily Indo-Malayan species

The green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas), finless porpoise (Neophocaena phocaenoides), Indo-pacific humpback dolphin (Sousa plumbea) and long-beaked common dolphins (Delphinus capensis) occur in the Khuran Straits regularly. The green sea turtle, Dalmatian pelican, crab plover and curlew are endangered species of the area with global importance. Regular sightings of finless porpoise by local people and researchers suggest it is likely that they breed in waters of Khuran Straits. This area is one of the most important breeding sites for the Annulated sea snake (Hydrophis cyanocinctus), which along with the Gulf Sea Snake (H. lapemoides) are the most abundant sea snakes in the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman. Sea snakes become entrapped in the trap nets used by local fishers for shrimp fishing, but they are not known as dangerous animals by the local people, and trapped snakes are usually being returned to the water alive

This area is a critical habitat in the Persian Gulf for fish stocks, including silver pomfret (Pampus argenteus), Jinga shrimp (Metapenaeus affinis) and the green tiger prawn Penaeus Semisulcatus

The black rat (Rattus rattus) is the only rodent species that exists in the mangrove forests of Hara Biosphere Reserve. This has been reported as an invasive species with a significant impact on the reproduction of forest birds and breeding seabirds

Qeshm Island

Due to its extensive sandy and muddy shores along the Qeshm Island, hard coral ecosystems are mainly restricted to two sites along the southern and southeastern shorelines. The southeast coast of Qeshm Island supports a coral reef area of approximately 45ha dominated by Porites species. One of the most unique soft coral beds in the Persian Gulf, locally called “Gesher Springi”, occurs in the deep waters of south Qeshm Island at depths of 40-60 meters. The recently discovered “Gesher Springi” is also an important foraging site for dolphins and sharks. The majority of Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus) records in Iranian waters occur around Qeshm Island, in the narrow channel and a bay between Hengam and Qeshm islands called Deyrestan Bay. This species has also been frequently sighted in waters around Larak and Hormuz islands

All five sea turtle species of the Persian Gulf occur in the waters around Qeshm Island and adjacent areas, including the critically endangered hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata), endangered green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas), endangered loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta), olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea) and leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea). Qeshm Island is the largest and one of the most significant nesting sites in the Persian Gulf for the critically endangered hawksbill turtles. Each year, large numbers of hawksbill turtles come to lay their eggs in the soft sandy beaches

of the south coast of Qeshm Island. According to several interviews with local fishermen of Qeshm Island, green sea turtle nests used to be found in abundance in southern coasts and near Qeshm city

Hengam Island

Hengam Island is located south of Qeshm Island and supports one of the healthiest coral reef ecosystems in the area. Coral reefs of Hengam Island are mainly concentrated on the northeastern parts of the island and are dominated by Acropora and Porites species. At least 24 species of hard corals have been reported from Hengam Island. This area is one of the most important foraging sites for dolphins and sea turtles. The most significant resident population of the Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus) in the area occurs around Hengam Island and in Deyrestan Bay between Qeshm and Hengam Islands. The Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin (Sousa plumbea) also occurs around Hengam Island as a migratory species. The sandy coast of Hengam Island is also an important nesting site for hawksbill sea turtles. Deyrestan Bay is one of the most significant breeding and foraging sites for elasmobranch species, including sharks, rays and skates. Extensive seagrass beds also occur in Deyrestan Bay

Larak Island

Larak Island is located in the Strait of Hormuz, approximately 17 km southwest of Hormuz Island and 9 km southeast of Qeshm Island. Larak Island is among the richest and healthiest hard coral and soft coral ecosystems in the entire Persian Gulf, which represent a biodiversity hotspot in the region, with at least 37 species of hard corals and 31 species of soft corals. Coral reefs of Larak Island are mainly dominated by Acropora and Porites species. Whales and whale sharks (Rhincodon typus) also frequently occur in waters around Larak Island
Documented studies and unpublished data suggest that the three islands of Qeshm, Hengam and Larak comprise a triangular biodiversity hotspot within the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman

Hormuz Island

Hormuz Island is located about 5 km off the Iranian mainland to the south of Tiab and Minab protected area. Shorelines of Hormuz Island are mainly sandy beaches, but there are some rocky shores and low cliffs, and a small tidal creek system with saltmarsh vegetation just east of the main harbour. Hormuz Island is recognized as an important bird area (IBA) by BirdLife International. This island is an important staging and/or wintering area for shorebirds, gulls and terns. The sandy shores of Hormuz Island are also recognized as an important nesting site for hawksbill turtles

Terrestrial ecosystems and biodiversity

Our territory is situated on a strip of sub-tropical Saharo-Sindian region in the northern hemisphere which gives it a unique geobotanical and phytogeographycal characteristics. The Saharo-Sindian region is generally known as the Khalijo-Omanian zone in Iran. This region is located along the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman. Rainfall is limited to the winter season and does not exceed l00 mm per year in most of this region. The rains are torrential and irregularly distributed. The summer is long and extremely hot and dry. Despite its uniform climate, these islands has a variety of plant associations and plant habitats whose pattern of distribution is influenced by the soil, physiography, availability of water, and the extent of the soil salinity. In this region there are Saharo-Arabian, Sudanian and also Irano-Turanian plant species.These islands have trees and shrubs which are relatively widely separated and in some locations they have formed communities. There are 314 and 191 native plant species recorded from Qeshm and Hormuz Islands respectively

Dominant woodlands of the area are Acacia tortilis, Acacia tortilis- Prosopis cineraria, Acacia ehrenbergiana and Vachellia oerfota communities. The invasive mesquite tree (Prosopis juliflora) is one of the most important threats to the native vegetation of these islands

The most important terrestrial mammals of the islands includes five species of bats including Egyptian Rousette (Rousettus aegyptiacus), several rodent species, Brandt’s hedgehog (Paraechinus hypomelas), Hare (Lepus sp.), Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes), Pygmy White-toothed Shrew (Suncus etruscus), Indian Grey Mongoose (Herpestes edwardsii), Small Indian Mongoose (Herpestes javanicus), and Jebeer or Indian gazelle Gazella bennettii

Where and how our cultural/ natural assets are recognized?

Qeshm Geopark

In 2007, Qeshm Island was recorded as the only Geo-Park in the Middle East by UNESCO. Qeshm Geopark has got a proper position in the region as it is located between Eastern Asian and European Geopark. In terms of geological variety as well as variety of its sites, Qeshm Geopark also carries an important image among the geoparks. Of course this variety is not limited to geological phenomena. There are other varieties in ecology, archeology, environment, wild nature, etc. Eight geosites are registered in Qeshm Geopark: 1. Salt Dome and the longest salt dome in the world; 2. Doulab village; 3. Chahkooh Canyon; 4. Shour valley; 5. Tandis-ha valley; 6. Stars valley; 7. Qeshm roof: a lookpoint; 8. Kor Kora Kooh: Hills of Mounds

Protected areas, biosphere reserves, Ramsar sites, and Important Bird Areas

Hara Protected Area (85,686 ha) was established in 1973 to protect the most extensive stands of natural mangrove forest on the south coast of Iran. It was upgraded to National Park in the mid-1970s, but subsequently downgraded to Protected Area again in 1980. Hara-e Khuran Protected Area (2518 ha), which was established in 2001, is located just besides the Hara Protected Area. These two protected areas form a 100,000 hectare site designated as a Wetland of International Importance under the Ramsar Convention in June 1975. As a Contracting Party to the Ramsar Convention (the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance especially as Waterfowl Habitat), the Government of Iran has an inherent commitment to maintain the ecological character of this wetland. The Protected Area was designated as a UNESCO (MAB) Biosphere Reserve in June 1976, and was identified as an ‘Important Bird Area’ (IBA) by Birdlife International in 1994
Hormuz Island is also recognized as an IBA by BirdLife International
Having been recognized as an international wetland in 1975, Tiab and Minab was designated as protected area in 2001. Located in the east of Bandar Abbas in Hormozgan province, the region has an area of 41258ha

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Ecologically or Biologically Significant Marine Areas EBSAs

Qeshm Island and adjacent marine and coastal areas were identified as areas of biological and ecological importance globally during the recently concluded regional workshop on Ecologically or Biologically Significant Marine Areas (EBSAs) in the North-Western Indian Ocean and the adjacent gulf areas in April 2015 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates This area were evaluated based on the criteria established during the 9th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity. They were assessed according to their biological uniqueness or rarity, with special emphasis on the stages and phases of local species’ life cycle. The criteria also looked into the importance of the region to endangered species as well as the degradation of habitats and their sensitivity, biological productivity and diversity, and other natural features. The workshop was attended by representatives from the UAE, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran, Egypt and Jordan, Sudan, Eritrea, Pakistan, India as well as international and regional organisations. When finalized the workshop report will be forwarded to the CBD Subsidiary Body for Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice for review and then to the CBD Conference of the Parties (Mexico, November 2016). Later on, the report will be provided to the United Nations General Assembly

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Intangible Cultural Heritages

Building and sailing Iranian Lenj boats

Traditional Lenj boats in Iran are handmade wodden vessels that have been constructed and used since centuries ago by the indigenous peoples and local communities of the northern coast of the Persian Gulf and its islands. Main ports in the ancient times used to be Laft in Qeshm island and Kong and Lian on the mainland. These large boats were sailing in the open seas for trading and sea journeys up to to coasts of India and Africa, also for fishing and pearl diving in the Persian Gulf and the Oman Sea. The traditional skills of building and sailing Iranian Lenj boats was inscribed on UNESCO’s List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding in 2011. This traditional knowledge includes the methods of navigation based on asthronomy by using Persian Astrolabe and Sextant to locate the latitude and longitude, as well as weather forcast based on the colour of the sea and height of waves. It also includes oral literature, special singing on the journey and performing arts on the land. Festivities such as Norooz-e Sayyad (Fisherman’s New Year), Bādebān-Keshi (setting the sail) and traditional music performance of Rezif are examples of the intangible heritage Although the construction site still exists in Laft and Gooran and some of other villages in the north of Qeshm Island, the knowledge of building Lenjes is in need of urgent safeguarding, since the main method of transmitting this knowledge which traditionally was going from father to son is now being left out an the boats themselves are being replaced by fiberglass preconstructed boats

Baadgir

Baadgirs (Wind-catchers) are towers constructed in traditional houses and water reservoirs in central deserts of Iran as well as in the hot and humid coastal line of the Persian Gulf and Oman Sea The four sided towers guide the outer air to the basement or to the subterranean water reservoirs. The air gets cool and exits the chamber from channels and valves in the summer room of the house and creates a pleasant atmosphere in the heat of summer. Baadgirs, which the knowledge and tradition of constructing them are on the tentative list to be inscribed on the UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage List, are inseparable elements of traditional houses in hot deserts of Iran and their appearance differs in different regions. The main material for building Baadgir is mud and clay, and based on the colour of soil in any region, the colour and appearance of the Baadgirs are different. For example the Baadgirs and the houses of Laft in Qeshm Island are white, as oppose to beige colour of the constructions in the central desert such as in Yazd city. These architectural elements also were important to show the social status of the owner of the house; the richer the owner, the larger and more elaborate the Baadgirs were. As opposed to mechanized air-conditioning systems which depend heavily on consumption of electricity, Baadgirs are the sustainable solutions in the hot climate which conserve energy and are efficient, however in the recent years the construction of traditional houses and the wind catchers is decreasing The knowledge of designing and constructing Baadgirs is usually transmitted orally and in practice from master to pupil and goes from generation to generation but popularity of modern lifestyle has threatened the continuous use of these ingenious elements of the past

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Hormuz Island soil carpet

Hormuz Island consists of a huge salt dome topped, partly, by a rich variety of stones, sands and soil and abundant vegetation. It is unique in its multitude of colored soil: more than twenty colors and some ninety shades
In the winter of 2009, a group of young artists of Iran’s southern Hormozgan province, and of Hormuz Island, came upon the idea of “weaving” a carpet out of colored soil at a flat depression on the western coast. Their intent was to draw the authorities’ attention to the island’s amazing ecology and the necessity of its protection. Wielding the island’s folk tales and its marvelous colorful sand and soil, the artists rose against apathy towards -and destructive exploitation of- its environmental health and beauty. Due, partly, to efforts by some fifty or so artists, the once neglected island has become a center of art and a magnet of tourism. In half a decade the yearly number of visitors to the soil carpet, alone, has grown from 7000 to 40000
The first soil carpet design was based on the local folk legend of Mother Sea. In February 2014 the group presented its fifth carpet, the “Da Mahi. Da Mahi is the great fish full of motherly love, it swims the high seas and guides lost seamen safely back. A previous carpet was called “Melmedas”, the legendary mermaid-like sea creature who had sickles for feet (hidden under the surface) with which she ripped sailors who had fallen for her beckoning. To the artists, Melmedas symbolizes today’s material innovations and economic “gains” which destroy both nature and human moral values. Melmedas also symbolizes life and death, God and evil, hope and demise. Weaving legends is inherent to human soul. Legend helps man find the truth and displays human values. The role and meaning of legend has changed a lot for modern man, yet its symbolic and esthetic importance is unchanged

Natural resources management systems

Traditional fishing methods

Traditional fishing methods are sustainable methods we have been used for centuries. Qeshm, Hengam, Hormuz and Larak fishermen use many fishing methods due to the season and place of fishing and type of the fish or shrimp being fished, but the most used methods in the present, are Gargoor and Moshta.
Gargoor is a fishing trap including a frame of wire mesh in the shape of a hemisphere or oval, with an entrance (It looks like a lobster trap but bigger). In the past it was made by wood and palm branches. Unfortunately now they make it is made by wire and Polyethylene pipes and mesh size has been decreased, therefore small fish cannot escape

Fishing weirs have been used throughout the world as far back as 3000 years ago and were a fundamental gear of many coastal societies prior to the global spread of industrial fishing, starting in the 1950s. Although weir technologies differ across geographies, their basic purpose is to capture fish by limiting their movement without greatly impeding water flow. In the case of intertidal weirs, fish swimming parallel to shore at high tide encounter the “wing” and invariably try to escape by swimming into deeper water which leads them to the “yard” and eventually entering a smaller enclosure ,called “pocket”, where they are captured by the receding tides
In the Persian Gulf, weirs (Arabic: Hadrah; Farsi: Moshta) are constructed in intertidal and shallow subtidal zones and catch a wide variety of marine species. Traditionally they were built using woven date palm and thin and long trunks of red mangrove, but today are made using nylon mesh and galvanized pipes or trunks of red mangrove Although the Persian Gulf’s semi-diurnal tides allow weirs to be checked twice a day, in practice they are checked once

We have a tradition among the fishermen which says that if a turtle is trapped in the net or Moshta or any other fishery gears, they should release the turtle, and it will bring you bliss and wealth
Another traditional fishing rule which has made our fishery sustainable through hundred years, is forbidding fishing in the fish breeding seasons

Water resources management

In the past, Qeshm local people used to migrate to Minab city or other near ports in the mainland in summer to manage their palm orchards or work in others’ palm orchards. So as the mount of available water in the island was limited, it would be saved for winter. This was a practical water resource management which is not used anymore. Nowadays, we try to prepare our water demand by water pumps and desalination plants

Tela wells

In the entrance of Loft village, several water well’s rings has been seen in the crater of hillside that were drilled via the region’s natives in Achemenid and Zoroaster era in schist ricks of this region for saving the rain’s water. Since the foundation of stone in this area is from plaster layers that cover the bottom of these wells, water remains cool in them for a long time. It has been said that the number of these wells were drilled 366 rings as the number of leap year but some were out of work and some still remain.
Methods and effective water use were extremely important in the past and it was a sustainable use of natural resources. Nowadays, because of the climate change and decrease in water resources and cultural changes in water uses (the modernization of lifestyles and consumption patterns), we use these wells less than before

Mirab

A water guardian or water master known as Mirab, has carried out traditional water management of the water reservoirs

Chalu

Holes with tight entry and wide end to prevent evaporation. Chalu’s are usually dig across the rain run-offs to trap and reserve water

Kombeh

Pots that are implanted in ground in flat or mountainous areas and across the rain run off to reserve water
Drip irrigation by pots
This is a mechanism based on implanting pots of water in foot of date trees in summers. Permeation of water enables slow irrigation of dates in an efficient way

Korband

Korband is a traditional spate irrigated system. Spate irrigation is defined as supplying flood water from ephemeral streams to farm fields and orchards by damming the streams

Successful case studies in conservation and livelihoods

In the early 90s, Free Zone Authorities were established in southern Iran (Kish, Qeshm and Chabahar) to boost the economy through import and export of goods. The Master Plan of the Qeshm Fee Zone Authority was drafted by a Swedish Company, emphasizing on Sustainable Development. It was only in year 2001 that the Environment Office of Qeshm Fee Zone officially started its work. Through engagement of a top nature conservationist as Head of the Environment Office, and following up a thorough survey of the biodiversity aspects of the island by this office (2001-2007), it became obvious that the island has unique biodiversity values, which considering the fast pace of development by Qeshm Fee Zone could be undermined
Around the same time, with ratification of the Convention for Biodiversity, Iran became eligible for grants by the Global Environment Facility. It was a good opportunity to work in the field of environmental conservation and learn the bottom-up approach of project formulation, implementation, as well as monitoring and evaluation while working with local communities. The following presents some of SGP projects in the areas of Climate Change, International Waters and Biodiversity
Promoting traditional architectural and use of climate friendly concepts to save energy costs Climate Change
Pilot Project on Artificial Reefs for Rehabilitation of Marine Resources of Qeshm Island in Salakh area International Waters
Aquaculture of Pearl by Local Community of Berkeh Khalaf Village International Waters
Onshore Preservation of Hawksbill turtle eggs through Community Participation Biodiversity
Conservation vs. Tourism: Ecotourism Planning for the Turtle Nesting site near Shibderaz Village
Dolphin watching and Conservation in Hengam Island Biodiversity
Promoting Livelihoods for Women through Handicrafts

مقاله‌ی مرتبط:
جزیره لارک مروارید بکر خلیج فارس Larak Island