The Fund is named “The Sustainable Livelihoods Fund of the Kuhi Sub-tribe of the Qashqai Nomadic Pastoralists” hereinafter referred to as “The Fund”.
Note – The Kuhi sub-tribe is part of the Nomadic Confederative structure and consists of several clans. Clans are comprised of a number of camps whose members are usually related. A camp is the smallest unit of the Qashqai structure and it is formed by a group of closely related families. Members of camps migrate, live, and work in the summering and wintering grounds together.
The basic capital of this Fund is a sum of 10,000,000 Rials, all of which has been paid to the Fund by the Center for Sustainable Development and Environment (CENESTA).
The broad objective of the Fund is to promote conservation of biodiversity and sustainable livelihoods for the Kuhi sub-tribe of the Qashqai Nomadic Pastoralists within the Zagros Mountains in Western Iran.
The improvement of the socio-economic and cultural conditions of the Kuhi sub-tribe is the mechanism through which the following specific objectives will be achieved:
- Conservation and sustainable use of resources through a collaborative management approach; resources include rangelands, forests, arable lands, underground waters, wetlands and other aquatic habitat, wildlife and protected areas
- Integrate an ecosystem approach, including the preservation of recreational areas, conservation of wildlife habitat, and diversity of rangeland vegetation
- Promote development and mobile projects aimed at meeting the needs and improving the living standards of the Kuhi sub-tribe, including sanitation, education, health, etc…
- Improve conditions of women, children and vulnerable people
- Increase wealth and income of the Kuhi through sustainable and collective use of resources and participation in the following activities:
- Forage cropping
- Traditional animal husbandry
- Revitalization of the rangelands
- Handicrafts and hand-woven products
- Dairy and protein products
- Construct mobile shops
- Create job opportunities, for the youth in particular, to reduce emigration to villages and cities
- Develop cultural activities.
The Fund is an independent legal entity whose principles of work are as follows:
The principle of equality and justice
- Collective benefit (individual benefit is imbedded in collective benefit)
- Priority given to deprived and vulnerable people
The principle of participation
- Collecting suggestions from individual camps (whenever possible), and incorporating all suggestions into the broader decision-making process
- Early reporting to individual camps on operations, decisions, and measures of the Fund
The principle of accountability
- All actors will be accountable to one another
The principle of transparency
- In decision-making, planning, implementation, assessments and financial operations
The principle of sustainability
- Economic-financial : profit is used instead of the capital; making wealth in addition to income
- The socio – cultural approach will be modeled on the traditional cultural system of the Kuhi
- Environmental friendly technologies; conservation of biodiversity and the reduction in pollution
- Policy-legal and structural-organizational: support by government, national and international organizations, as well as traditional institutions adopted from the sub-tribe and the broader Qashqai tribe
- Recognition of customary rules and laws to settle disputes and for the utilization of natural resources
The Fund is comprised of camps of the Kuhi Sub-tribe.
Each qualified camp shall designate a representative to attend the sessions of the General Assembly of the Fund (Assembly of Elders).
Note – The representatives of the clans (Article 13 – Paragraph b) shall provide the Sustainable Livelihoods Council (Article 7 – Paragraph c) with complete characteristics of the camps, including number of households of each camp, late June (Mehregan Anniversary) of every year.
The constituting organs of the Fund are:
a. General Assembly of the Fund (Assembly of Elders of each clan of the sub-tribe);
b. General Assembly of camps of each clan (Assembly of Elders of each camp);
c. Sustainable Livelihoods Council of the sub-tribe (the council of each clan’s representatives);
d. Inspectors of the Fund
A. The General Assembly of the Fund (Assembly of Elders of the Kuhi Sub-tribe)
The General Assembly of the Fund (Assembly of Elders of the Camps of the Kuhi Sub-tribe), hereinafter referred to as the “General Assembly”, is comprised of the representatives of the camps of the Kuhi Sub-tribe (Article 6- Note definition).
Note 1 – The Kuhi Sub-tribe currently consists of 14 clans: Bayg, Mir, Mehrabie, Kolahdooz, Saydai, Latifpoor, Khodabakhshloo, Esfandiary, Zolfagarie, Barzegarlue, Charpanlue, Agaey, Abdolahy, Bayrami, in addition to a 15th clan with an honorary membership (Article 15 – Note 3).
Note 2 – Any alteration in the number of clans of the sub-tribe shall require the approval of the Council of the sub-tribe representatives.
The General Assembly will explore the following issues:
- Review the Fund’s operating reports
- Identify basic needs of the sub-tribe
- Examine and make decisions on issues suggested by the Sustainable Livelihoods Council
- Manage and supervise the Fund and the Sustainable Livelihoods Council upon the request of the Sustainable Livelihoods Council, including issues of disbursement, operations, and appropriate levels of capital for the Fund
Note – Holding of an extraordinary session of the General Assembly is possible through the written request of one-third of the representatives of the camps;
- Elect auditor(s) for revision and examination of documents, if required
Sessions of the General Assembly
The sessions of the General Assembly shall be official when:
- Convoked in writing by the Sustainable Livelihoods Council at least two weeks prior to the date of the proposed session of the Assembly through common nomadic methods
- Attended by at least half of the members of the Fund
The resolutions of the General Assembly shall be binding for all members, irrespective of their presence or absence at the session.
Note – the regular session of the General Assembly shall be held once a year. Extraordinary sessions shall be decided by the Sustainable Livelihoods Council.
Absentee members may, through a written statement, delegate their vote to another representative. The latter is expected to submit the letter of delegation to the Sustainable Livelihoods Council.
The number of delegates attending a General Assembly session, shall be based on the number of signatures on the sign-up sheet.
Note – Minutes of the General Assembly sessions, letters of delegation, and call lists shall be kept and filed by the Sustainable Livelihoods Council.
B. The General Assembly of the Camps of each Clan (Assembly of Elders of the Clan)
The Assembly of Camps comprises “Obabashy” of camps and represents units of households.
Note 1 – The number of the members of the Assembly is equivalent to the number of camps which comprise the respective clans, and are traditionally headed by “Obabashys”. The abovementioned number and the characteristics of “Obabashys” shall be determined based on the Note in Article 6 of this document
Note 2 – Representatives of the Assembly of Camps shall be present in the Sustainable Livelihoods Council as a “Bonkubashy”.
The following shall be managed in the General Assembly of Camps:
- Elect a chief as well as an alternate representative (Bonkubashy) for each clan to attend the Sustainable Livelihoods Council
- Examine the operating report of the Sustainable Livelihoods Council presented by a representative of the clan who is also a member of the Council
- Identify and propose basic needs of the clan to the representative of the clan to be presented to the Sustainable Livelihoods Council
- Oversee performance of clan representatives who are also members of the Sustainable Livelihoods Council
- Consult with “bonkubashy” on issues concerning the Sustainable Livelihoods Council as well as the affairs of the clan
- Appoint and introduce inspector of clans to the General Assembly based on this Articles of Association, whenever required
Note – The Assembly of the Clan shall be held upon the request of the representatives of the clan or the Sustainable Livelihoods Council at least once a year
C. The Sustainable Livelihoods Council of the Sub-tribe
Sustainable Livelihoods Council hereinafter referred to as “the Council” comprises 15 principal members, as well as 15 alternate members, elected for a period of 4 years:
- 14 principal representatives and 14 alternate representatives of camps of each clan
- One principal and one alternate representative of the Center for Sustainable Development and Environment
Note 1 – Re-election of members of the Council is permitted
Note 2 – In the presence of the principal representative of the clan at the meetings, the alternate representative shall have no vote
Note 3 – The Center for Sustainable Development and Environment shall act as one of the clans of the sub-tribe and its representative shall, in the same manner as that of other representatives, have the right to vote in the sessions of the Council
The positions existing in the Council are of Chairperson, Deputy Chairperson, Managing Director, Treasurer, and Secretariat
Note 1 – Election of the abovementioned members shall be carried out through secret balloting by all principal representatives (or alternate representatives in case the principal representatives are absent) of clans who are also are members of the Council
Note 2 – The period of office for members appointed in the abovementioned positions shall be 4 years while re-election is permitted
The responsibilities of the abovementioned appointees are as follows:
Responsibilities of the Chair of the Council
- Oversee performance of the Managing Director and other members of the Council
- Chair the sessions of the Council and the Assembly
- Follow-up on the Council responsibilities concerning the sub-tribe
- Inform representatives of clans
- Act as the principal and official representative of the Council
- Keep the stamp of the Council (other members of the Council may also use the Council’s stamp if the Chair of the Council accepts the liability of this action)
- Address issues concerning the sub-tribe
Responsibilities of the Deputy Chairperson of the Council
- Fulfill the functions of the Chair of the Council in his/her absence or when delegated by him/her
Responsibilities of the Managing Director of the Council
- Implement policies and decisions adopted by the Council
Responsibilities of the Treasurer
- Store and look after all financial instruments and properties of the Council
- Prepare financial reports and instruments to be presented to the Council and the Assembly
- Draft annual balance sheets
- Other financial activities concerning the Council and the Assembly, as required
Responsibilities of the Council Secretary
- Draft minutes of the Council sessions
- Maintain and file books and other internal documents
- Prepare all other reports as required
Duties and authority of the Sustainable Livelihoods Council are as follows:
- Draft Assembly resolutions concerning issues and decisions made (within the framework of duties and authorities of the Assembly)
- Prepare, follow-up, and oversee implementation of appropriate projects and report different levels of progress to all camps as a means of updating and soliciting help
- Make decisions on the administrative operations of the projects
- Manage affairs of the Fund
- Implement the Articles of Association
- Manage legal, administrative, financial, and affairs related to credit
- Prepare reports of contracts with departments, banks, and legal firms
- Submit regular working report to the General Assembly
- Suggest issues in need of discussion to the General Assembly
- Elect and recruit specialists, if required
- Implement decisions adopted by the Assembly
- Produce projects targeting the basic needs of the sub-tribe
- Draft budgets and other proposals to be submitted to the General Assembly
- Introduce signatories of the Fund to the bank
Note 1 – In cases of resignation, death, legal prohibition, or consecutive unjustified absence of any member of the Council, the General Assembly of the Camps of the respective clans shall introduce a new representative to the Sustainable Livelihoods Council.
Note 2— Members of Council, may, if approved by at least three-fourths of Council, be paid, relative to the duration and type of work they have engaged in. This payment will be a portion of the 20 percent profit, and will not exceed one-fifth of this amount, referred to in Article 26 -Paragraph 2 of the Articles of Association, whose final amount and distribution shall be determined by the bylaws and the minutes of the Council approved by at least three-fourths of members.
Note 3 – The provisions of Note 2 does not pertain to the Center for Sustainable Development and Environment.
Any alterations or amendments to the Articles of Association shall be possible through the approval of at least three-fourths of the Council Members.
D. The Fund Inspectors
Four fund inspectors shall be elected by the General Assembly for a period of one financial year. The inspectors shall rotate based on the alphabetical order of the clan’s name. Re-election of the inspectors is permitted.
Note 1 – The Assembly of the Camps of each clan shall, during its turn, introduce the inspector of the clan to the General Assembly.
Note 2 – In case of death, resignation, or legal prohibition of inspectors, the Assembly of Camps of the respective clan shall elect another inspector for the rest of the term of the former inspector.
Responsibilities of the inspectors of the Fund include:
- Monitor activities, transactions and operations of the Fund, so as to ensure their compliance with the Articles of Association of the Fund as well as other pertaining regulations
- Inspect accounts, books, documents, and financial statements such as balance-sheets, profit-and-loss accounts, proposed budgets, and the Council’s reports to the General Assembly
- Settle member’s complaints and report the result to the General Assembly and the Council
Note – The inspectors shall not have the right to directly intervene in the Fund’s affairs, but may, without a vote, attend the Council and General Assembly sessions and express their opinions on the current affairs of the Fund.
In case of failure in fulfillment of commissioned tasks of the Council of Members and their indifference toward the inspector’s warnings, the inspector may directly report to the Council and the General Assembly.
Note – If, within one month of receiving a request of an inspector, or a session held by an inspector, the Council has not taken action, the inspectors may, with prior notification of the Council and the approval of at least three-fourths of the inspectors, call directly for an extraordinary session of the General Assembly.
The financial year of the Fund shall commence on 22 June (Mehregan Anniversary) and end on 21 June of the next year, excluding the first financial year, which runs from the date of the Fund’s inception until 21 June of the next year.
The Council is expected to provide the inspectors with a copy of the year-end financial statements such as balance-sheets, operating accounts, profit-and-loss accounts, proposals for distribution of the net profit, as well as the proposed budget, within one month prior to the General Assembly session.
Note – The Council is expected to show maximum cooperation with the elected auditors of the Assembly and provide them with the required and necessary documents.
Opening any type of bank account will be possible by the approval and introduction of the authorized signatories of the Council.
Note – Financial documents shall gain validity when signed by (1) Chair or Deputy Chair, (2) Managing Director, and (3) Treasurer, accompanied by the Fund’s stamp.
Allocation of the net profit of the Fund in each financial year shall be as follows:
60 percent of all income from investment activities will be reinvested in the Fund
20 percent of all income from investment activities will be applied for projects such as improving the living conditions of Kuhi women, children and vulnerable groups, sustainability of biodiversity, and socio-cultural sustainability of the sub-tribe including assisting gifted children
Note – any payments to the Council Members for their contributions shall only be possible up to one-fifth of the amount of this allocation
20 percent of all income from investment activities will be invested in establishing a Sustainable Livelihoods Fund in other sub-tribes of the Shish Bayli tribe and other joint ventures at the tribal level
This article of association was drawn up in 27 articles and 25 notes in 10 pages and was approved in the general session of 7 April 2003 by the Members.