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Institutions and Ecosystem-Based Development Potentials of the Elephant Marsh, Malawi

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  • Ishmael B. M. Kosamu

    ()
    (The Polytechnic, Department of Physics and Biochemical Sciences, University of Malawi, Private Bag 303, Blantyre 3, Malawi
    Institute of Environmental Sciences (CML), Leiden University, P.O. Box 9518, 2300 RA, Leiden, The Netherlands)

  • Wouter T. de Groot

    ()
    (Institute of Environmental Sciences (CML), Leiden University, P.O. Box 9518, 2300 RA, Leiden, The Netherlands
    Institute for Science and Innovation Studies, Faculty of Science, Radboud University, P.O. Box 9010, 6500 GL, Nijmegen, The Netherlands)

  • Patrick S. Kambewa

    ()
    (Department of Economics, Chancellor College, University of Malawi, P.O. Box 280, Zomba, Malawi)

  • Geert R. de Snoo

    ()
    (Institute of Environmental Sciences (CML), Leiden University, P.O. Box 9518, 2300 RA, Leiden, The Netherlands)

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    Abstract

    The Elephant Marsh, a wetland in Southern Malawi, is important for fishing, agriculture, hunting and the collection of natural resources for the livelihoods of local communities. However, there has been increasing pressure driven by a changing climate, population growth, rural poverty and agricultural conversion, all of which threaten the future of the wetland. Currently, Malawi does not have either a national wetland policy or a climate change policy and wetland issues are only marginally present in the National Parks and Wildlife Policy of 2000 and National Fisheries and Aquaculture Policy of 2001. As a result, the country lacks a framework that could be strong enough to achieve balanced and sustainable wetland management for multiple resource users. The objective of this study was to establish the development potentials of Elephant Marsh from an ecosystem-based (‘working-with-nature’) perspective. It was revealed that there are development potentials in fisheries, recession agriculture, biomass for energy, conservation and tourism. This paper emphasizes that as these opportunities are developed, there will be the need to strengthen management institutions at local and national levels, and the coordination between the two.

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    File URL: http://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/4/12/3326/pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by MDPI, Open Access Journal in its journal Sustainability.

    Volume (Year): 4 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 12 (December)
    Pages: 3326-3345

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    Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:4:y:2012:i:12:p:3326-3345:d:22054

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    Related research

    Keywords: Elephant Marsh; wetland; Malawi; local institutions; ecosystem-based management; livelihoods; co-management;

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    References

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    1. Jean Ensminger, 1998. "Anthropology and the New Institutionalism," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 154(4), pages 774-, December.
    2. Turner, R. Kerry & van den Bergh, Jeroen C. J. M. & Soderqvist, Tore & Barendregt, Aat & van der Straaten, Jan & Maltby, Edward & van Ierland, Ekko C., 2000. "Ecological-economic analysis of wetlands: scientific integration for management and policy," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 7-23, October.
    3. Nilsson, Lars J. & Pisarek, Marcin & Buriak, Jerzy & Oniszk-Poplawska, Anna & Bucko, Pawel & Ericsson, Karin & Jaworski, Lukasz, 2006. "Energy policy and the role of bioenergy in Poland," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(15), pages 2263-2278, October.
    4. Peter Mathias Mvula & Tobias Haller, 2009. "Common pool resource management in Lake Chilwa, Malawi: a wetland under pressure," Development Southern Africa, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 26(4), pages 539-553.
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    Cited by:
    1. Ishmael B. M. Kosamu, 2014. "Conditions for Sustainability of the Elephant Marsh Fishery in Malawi," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 6(7), pages 4010-4027, June.

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