Gauging Networks for Wetland Monitoring
Participatory monitoring of wetlands can provide a cost-effective alternative to conventional scientific monitoring which suffers from a number of constraints (such as high costs, difficult logistics of implementation, and sometimes scientific emphasis with little relevance to management). There is evidence that participatory monitoring provides a powerful complementary approach that enhances conservation management interventions even where conventional monitoring is already taking place. It provides relevant information for management, promotes participation of local people in management, and can be sustained using local resources. Generic methods that are suitable for participatory monitoring include patrol records, simple transects, species lists, on-the-ground photography, and village group discussions. A limitation for the application of these methods is that in some situations, conventional professional monitoring is required under national or international conservation legislation. Examples of participatory monitoring from the UK, USA, Australia, and Madagascar are given.
KeywordsWetland monitoring Community participation Conservation management
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