In this book the authors argue for a paradigm shift in the way African wetlands are considered. Current policies and wetland management are too frequently underpinned by a perspective that views agriculture simply as a threat and disregards its important contribution to livelihoods. In rural areas where people are entrenched in poverty, wetlands (in particular wetland agriculture) have a critical role to play in supporting and developing peoples' livelihoods. Furthermore, as populations rise and climate change takes grip they will be increasingly important.
The authors argue that an approach to wetland management that is much more people focused is required. That is an approach that instead of being concerned primarily with environmental outcomes is centred on livelihood outcomes supported by the sustainable use of natural wetland resources.
The authors stress the need for Integrated Water Resource Management and landscape approaches to ensure sustainable use of wetlands throughout a river catchment and the need for wetland management interventions to engage with a wide range of stakeholders. They also assess the feasibility of creating incentives and value in wetlands to support sustainable use. Drawing on nine empirical case studies, this book highlights the different ways in which sustainable use of wetlands has been sought, each case focusing on specific issues about wetlands, agriculture and livelihoods.
Table of Contents
1. People-centred Wetland Management 2. The Value of Wetlands for Livelihood Support in Tanzania and Zambia 3. Catchments and Wetlands: a Functional Landscape Approach to Sustainable Use of Seasonal Wetlands in Central Malawi 4. Local Institutions, Social Capital and Sustainable Wetland Management: Experiences from Western Ethiopia 5. The Emergence of a Systemic View for the Sustainable Governance and Use of Wetlands in Complex and Transforming Environments: Experiences from Craigieburn, South Africa 6. Assessing the Ecological Sustainability of Wetland Cultivation: Experiences from Zambia and Malawi 7. Sustainable Management of Wetlands for Livelihoods: Uganda’s Experiences and Lessons 8. Managing a Ramsar Site to Support Agriculture and Fisheries: Lake Chilwa, Malawi 9. Agriculture, Livelihoods and Fadama Restoration in Northern Nigeria 10. Wetlands and Rice Development in West Africa 11. Conclusions: Transforming Wetland Livelihoods
Adrian Wood is Professor of Sustainability at the University of Huddersfield School of Business, UK and Director of Wetland Action.
Alan Dixon is a Senior Lecturer in the Institute of Science and the Environment, University of Worcester, UK.
Matthew McCartney is a Principal Researcher with the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), currently based in Lao PDR but until recently based in Ethiopia.