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Wetlands

, Volume 38, Issue 6, pp 1081–1095 | Cite as

Imbalance of Ecosystem Services of Wetlands and the Perception of the Local Community towards their Restoration and Management in Jimma Highlands, Southwestern Ethiopia

  • A. MogesEmail author
  • A. Beyene
  • L. Triest
  • A. Ambelu
  • E. Kelbessa
Wetlands in the Developing World

Abstract

Wetlands provide vital services for the livelihoods of local peoples; however, the ecological integrity of wetlands in Ethiopia has not yet been studied. In this study, we investigated the main ecosystem services of wetlands among different land use types, incorporating local perception toward wetland management. Six wetlands were selected from forested, agricultural and urban areas in the Jimma highlands. A total of 332 local residents within a 5-km radius of each wetland were surveyed. An additional 34 development agents and district and zonal experts were interviewed. The provisioning and cultural services were found to surpass the regulatory and supporting services of wetlands in agricultural and urban land uses compared with wetlands located in the forest. Although most individuals positively viewed wetland regulation and supporting services, the majority of households (66 %) were not interested in conserving wetlands because of small landholdings and the need to meet their livelihoods. Consequently, the vital regulatory and supporting services of impacted agricultural and urban wetlands are gradually becoming limited. Urgent action is, therefore, required to restore and protect these wetlands by promoting alternative livelihoods and improving the agricultural productivity of small landholders.

Keywords

Wetlands Ecosystem services Local people’s perception Ethiopia 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors would like to thank Jimma University, Ethiopia for financial support. We are grateful to Mr. Yihun Abdie for his support in the preparation of GIS map. We are also thankful to local community and government administrators for their cooperation and support during data collection.

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Copyright information

© Society of Wetland Scientists 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Moges
    • 1
    Email author
  • A. Beyene
    • 1
  • L. Triest
    • 3
  • A. Ambelu
    • 1
  • E. Kelbessa
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Environmental Health Science and TechnologyJimma UniversityJimmaEthiopia
  2. 2.Department of Plant Biology and Biodiversity ManagementAddis Ababa UniversityAddis AbabaEthiopia
  3. 3.Plant Science and Nature Management (APNA)Vrije Universiteit BrusselBrusselsBelgium

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