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Balancing the use of wetlands for economic well-being and ecological security: The case of the Limpopo wetland in southern Africa

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  • Jogo, Wellington
  • Hassan, Rashid
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    Abstract

    Wetlands in southern Africa continue to be degraded and lost through conversion to agriculture and other uses. One of the major constraints to sustainable management of wetlands in the region is that wetland users and decision-makers have insufficient understanding of the consequences of alternative management and policy regimes on wetland functioning, ecosystem services and human well-being. This study developed an ecological-economic model based on the system dynamics framework to simulate the impacts of alternative policy regimes on wetland functioning and economic well-being. Results showed that wetland services (crop production and natural resource harvesting) are inter-linked with trade-offs involved through their competition for labour, land and water resources. Policy scenario simulation results showed that diversifying livelihoods out of agriculture simultaneously improves economic well-being and enhances wetland conservation. Pure conservation strategies impose significant losses in the economic welfare of local population unless supported with diversification of livelihood sources. Government policies that support livelihood diversification into off-farm livelihood opportunities for the rural poor are critical for sustainable wetland management.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Ecological Economics.

    Volume (Year): 69 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 7 (May)
    Pages: 1569-1579

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:69:y:2010:i:7:p:1569-1579

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolecon

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    Keywords: Wetlands Southern Africa Ecological-economic model Economic well-being;

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    1. P. L. Wickins, 1981. "The Natives Land Act of 1913: A Cautionary Essay on Simple Explanations of Complex Change," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 49(2), pages 65-89, 06.
    2. Chopra, Kanchan & Adhikari, Saroj Kumar, 2004. "Environment development linkages: modelling a wetland system for ecological and economic value," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 9(01), pages 19-45, February.
    3. Brandon, Katrina Eadie & Wells, Michael, 1992. "Planning for people and parks: Design dilemmas," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 557-570, April.
    4. Eppink, Florian V. & van den Bergh, Jeroen C.J.M. & Rietveld, Piet, 2004. "Modelling biodiversity and land use: urban growth, agriculture and nature in a wetland area," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(3-4), pages 201-216, December.
    5. van Beukering, Pieter J. H. & Cesar, Herman S. J. & Janssen, Marco A., 2003. "Economic valuation of the Leuser National Park on Sumatra, Indonesia," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 43-62, February.
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