عنوان مقاله [English]
The economic value of natural ecosystem services in national parks such as forests, pastures, vegetation and crops are one of the major challenges in environmental studies. In this study, the economic evaluation of fodder and crop production performance in the national park and Karkheh protected area has been investigated. Karkheh National Park and Protected Area is located in a narrow strip on both sides of the Karkheh River. The physical and chemical condition of the river water has a direct impact on its ecosystem services. The ecosystem services of this region are diverse (Khuzestan Province Planning Studies, 2013) and its economic value, leading to increased awareness of the importance of its services and revealing the benefits of conservation and sustainable use of the protected area among local stakeholders and It is for decision makers to further protect these ecosystems. This assessment also makes it clear that the environment is a limited resource, even though there is no specific market for it. Therefore, economic evaluation and valuation of the environment can further highlight the scarcity of institutions called the environment. If all environmental components are taken into account in decisions, then economic development strategies will be judged from a better perspective, as opposed to frugal methods. In this case, decision makers will be led to an appropriate decision that has the least environmental damage.
Considering that the downstream area of Karkheh Protected Area, especially the wetland and mangrove forest, is affected by hydrological conditions; Spatial delimitation should be done in such a way that the analysis of ecological processes can be correctly interpreted from the perspective of hydrological knowledge. Therefore, the study area is Karkheh National Park and Protected Area (Figure 1) and its hydrological unit (Figure 2).
In order to evaluate the economic performance of fodder and crop production in the region, the alternative cost approach has been used. This approach calculates the value of ecosystem goods and services in terms of the cost of providing substitutes for them and uses the cost of providing substitutes as an estimate of the value of an ecosystem or its services (Sussman & Zohar, 2018). Estimated values must also be adjusted in relation to expected changes in price levels over time, otherwise: the results of cost-benefit analysis are not reliable. Therefore, two types of corrections are necessary (Mishkin, 2009):
1) Determining the present value: takes into account the opportunity cost of money.
2) Inflation correction: adjustment of changes in price levels.
Preliminary estimates of cost-benefit should also be adjusted for changes in price levels over time, called inflation adjustment. To adjust the price of a dollar at the present time according to the expected inflation in the future, its value must be converted to its nominal value at the desired time. Nominal value means the set value of the value for the current time. Real value also means the adjusted value of value according to the effect of inflation (Sussman & Zohar, 2018).
Economic resource valuation studies estimate the net present value (NPV) of ecosystem goods and services. Therefore, in this study, time demarcation is not considered and the present value of goods and ecosystem services of Karkheh Protected Area will be estimated this year.
• Determining the economic value of forage production
• In the hydrological unit
The total area under forage cultivation in Shush, Andimeshk and Hamidiyeh counties is 8322 hectares, of which 43 are allocated to alfalfa cultivation, 78 to clover cultivation and 8201 hectares to forage corn cultivation. According to the production ratio of fodder products with approximate ratios of 0.6, 0.9 and 98.5% for alfalfa, clover and fodder corn as well as forage production area (216692.17 hectares) in the hydrological unit There will be 1118.3 hectares of alfalfa, 2030.4 hectares of clover and 213541.46 hectares of fodder corn. According to the statistical yearbook of Khuzestan province in 1397, the average yield of alfalfa cultivation in the region is 7492.5, clover cultivation is 6000 and forage corn cultivation is 39582.7 kg / ha. The Statistics Center of Iran has announced the average price of alfalfa in 1397 as 11593.7 Rials per kilogram. Also, this year, the average price of clover is 10212 and the price of fodder corn is 2334.9 Rials per kilogram. Therefore, the production value of each forage in the hydrological unit is according to Table 1.The area of lands providing ecosystem service for forage production in the national park is 1664.95 hectares (statistical yearbook of Khuzestan province, 1397). Therefore, the value of forage production in Karkheh National Park is equal to 153092.15 million Rials. The area covered by this ecosystem service in the protected area is 31168.88 hectares and the value of forage production is equal to 291378.52 million rials. In total, the total value of the forage production ecosystem service in the protected area and Karkheh National Park is estimated at 444470.67 million Rials. The area of arable lands in the hydrological unit is 126737.89 hectares, of which 49878.14 hectares are for irrigated cultivation and 76859.75 hectares are for rainfed cultivation. The main crops in the region are wheat, rice, corn, watermelon, cucumber, tomato, melon, sugar beet, potato and onion. According to the modeling, the area of lands providing crop ecosystem service in the national park is 414.38 hectares. Therefore, the value of crop production in Karkheh National Park is equal to 61.50506 million Rials. The area covered by this ecosystem service in the protected area is 3724.1 hectares and the value of crop production is equal to 552768.17 million rials. In total, the total value of crop ecosystem services in the protected area and Karkheh National Park is estimated at 61427274.59 million rials. The total economic value of crops in Karkheh hydrological unit is estimated at 18811.65 billion rials. The economic value of each hectare of agricultural land is equal to 148.43 million rials. The real value of crop production in the whole national park and Karkheh protected area with inflation reform in 1398 is estimated to be equal to 512750.07 million Rials. The real value of crop production per hectare of the study area is estimated to be 123.9 million rials with inflation modification.