Political-Security Impacts of Drying of Lake Urmia

Document Type : Original Article


- MA of Political Geography, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran


Extended Abstract       
Impacts of geopolitical consequences, along with political, social, economic, and security conflicts and tensions caused by the drying of lakes are indisputable. Awareness of the key beneficiaries and authorities in national, regional, and local levels, challenges and biological problems of the region of Azerbaijan and the consequences of this biological crisis can considerably affect the national security.
Using descriptive-analytical methodology to detect the results of the lake drying, a questionnaire was designed by the authors and filled out by specialists. The SPSS software and one-sample T-test was used to analysis the results.
The findings of this study are discussed in the following headlines:
1- The threat of Salt Storms: The dryness of the lake causes sedimentation of salt sediments and the emergence of a suitable repository for the formation of dangerous micro-organisms in the event of severe storms. The salt storm phenomenon causes the destruction of agricultural lands and increase in diseases such as asthma, cancer, etc.
2- Poverty and unemployment: Considering that the villagers are poorer they do not have the necessary knowledge to deal with the hazards, their vulnerability is also higher. Reducing regional economic activity will increase in unemployment, reduce the income of indigenous people, and as a result, increase in poverty.
3- Immigration: The drying of Lake Urmia will destroy thousands hectares of agricultural lands around the lake, the smallest consequence is unemployment and migration of nearly 3 million peoples in the provinces of East and West Azerbaijan.
4- The closure of the Conversion Industry: With the destruction of agricultural lands in the lake Urmia due to the drying of deep wells in agricultural lands, 34 conversion factories were closed just in West Azerbaijan province and caused irreparable effects in all economic, industrial, social, and cultural domains, and will cause compulsory immigration of villagers and marginalization around the cities.
5- Severe damage to Tourism: The drying of Lake Urmia has worsened the tourism situation in the region. In addition to the natural environment, the drying of the Lake Urmia affects the economic and social environment of the region, in recent years, with the continuation of the ascending trend of the lake water decline, witnessed the destruction of housing estates, recreational and residential complexes, the destruction of coastal infrastructure, the unemployment of local residents, migration of residents of the villages on the margin of the lake, reduce of the tourists arrival, reduce of the incomes of the region from the tourism industry. With the drying of Lake Urmia water, investment in the lake's tourism sector has become difficult, and other marine tourism facilities in this area are not possible.
6- Outbreaks of Diseases: Comparative studies on the world's dry Lakes indicate that the prevalence of various diseases in this area is probably due to the drying of Lake Urmia. Other disadvantages include: Increasing infant mortality rates, low birth weight, late maturity, anemia, respiratory diseases, immune system damage, neurological and behavioral changes, and infectious disease. These studies also confirm the emergence of social anomalies, general distrust in government performance, the challenge of managing regional space and ethnic, tribal conflicts and marginalization.
In this research, it became clear that the most important political security consequences of the Lake Urmia drying are as follows: increasing tribal conflicts, general distrust about government performance, challenge of managing area space, increasing marginalization, development of social anomalies, damage to national integration and development, reducing the national security coefficient, increasing poverty and inequality, strengthening opposition groups, threatening existence and weakening national power.
Based on the results of the one-sample T-test, field studies and library information, the impacts of ethnic and tribal conflicts, reduction in welfare level of the surrounding residents, reduction in tourism statistics, public distrust in government activities, high unemployment rates, challenges in managing the regional issues, deprivation of living in one’s favorite place, marginalization, increase in social disorders, damaging national integration and development, decrease in national security rate, poverty and inequality, closure of alternant industries, reinforcement of groups opposing the Islamic Republic, threatening the national entity and country survival, and attenuation of the national power were confirmed.


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