Sustainable Use of Papyrus from Lake Victoria, Kenya
Cyperus papyrus-dominated wetlands in eastern and southern Africa are important for millions of people because of their provisioning ecosystem services (food, water, materials, medicines) but also because of regulating services (e.g., water and nutrient retention, climate regulation), cultural services (heritage of wetland communities, importance for science and tourism), and biodiversity. Papyrus wetlands are under pressure from agricultural and urban development. Freshwater and food production are important, but sustainable management strategies are needed to protect regulating services and biodiversity. This chapter summarizes current uses of papyrus wetlands in the East African region and identifies natural and human-induced factors affecting these. To achieve sustainable management, more awareness of regulating ecosystem services and more quantitative methods for assessing them are needed. This will allow better estimation of the value of papyrus ecosystem services and better evaluation of trade-offs with conversion to other uses.
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