The Ecology of Livelihoods


Why this project? Why are wetlands important?

Wetlands need to be conserved because they perform vital functions (e.g., habitats for biodiversity, water purification and storage) and provide important services which represent an enormous value that is often not taken into account by decision makers. African wetlands are particularly important because they are hotspots of livelihoods services for rural populations. This project focused on papyrus swamps in East Africa. These are degrading rapidly because of direct local-level drivers such as wetland reclamation, upstream dam construction, adverse agro-industrial activities, siltation and pollution loads and over-harvesting of wetland products as well as some large scale indirect drivers such as lack of appreciation of the value of wetlands, global economic integration, international policies, and climate change.