Land use planning for land management using the geographic information system (GIS) in the Loumir watershed of Guilan province in northern Iran


1 1- Department of Watershed Management, Faculty of Natural Resources, University of Mazandaran, Sari, Iran.

2 Department of Forestry, Faculty of Natural Resources, University of Guilan, Sowmehsara, Iran.

3 Department of Environmental Science, Faculty of Natural Resources, University of Guilan, Sowmehsara, Iran.

4 School of Resources, Environment & Society(SRES), The Australian National University, Canberra, ACT 0200, Australia.


Land use planning is a science that determines the type of land use through studying the ecological character of the land as well as its socio-economic structure. It is possible to plan for the appropriate use of the land and to enhance the present management of the land use by utilizing Geographical Information System (GIS). To this end, our investigators identified and took steps toward developing maps to determine the ecological and socio-economic resources of the Loumir watershed that encompasses an area of 20884.94 hectares. Digital maps were inputted along with explanatory data into an ArcGIS software application. In addition, all digital maps of layers including, elevation, slopes and aspects, soil texture, depth and structure, geology, iso-hyetal, iso-thermal, iso-evaporation, soil erosion, vegetation or canopy percentage, climate and water resources have been integrated- superimposed in the ArcGIS environment based on the Makhdoom analytical and systematic analysis model. Finally, land use planning maps of the Loumir Watershed were developed considering the ecological and socio-economic characteristics of the area. The results of the evaluation of the area indicated land use appropriateness and allocation as follows: 6.07 percent for level 1 of agriculture, 1.1 percent for level 2 of agriculture, 4.34 percent for level 1 of forestry, 53.31 percent for level 2 of forestry, 11.01 percent for level 3 of forestry, 0.42 percent for conservation, 0.13 percent for level 1 of range management, 6.16 percent for level 2 of range management, 14.71 percent for level 3 of range management, 0.34 percent for aquaculture and 2.41 percent for ecotourism.
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