Biodiversity Conservation. Examination of the Benefits and Challenges of Wetlands to Local Communities in Sakumono, Accra-Ghana


Term Paper, 2018

13 Pages, Grade: B


Excerpt

Inhalt

1.0 INTRODUCTION
1.1 PROBLEM STATEMENT
1.2 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
1.3 RESEARCH OBJECTIVE
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS

2.0 LITERATURE REVIEW
2.1 Benefits Derived from Wetlands
2.2 Challenges Associated with Wetlands
2.3 Community Willingness to Preserve Wetland

3.0 RESEARCH METHODOOGY
3.1 Description of the Study Area
3.2 Sampling and Data Collection

4.0 FINDINGS AND DISCUSSIONS
4.1 GENERAL FINDINGS
4.2 DISCUSSIONS

5.0 CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION
5.1 Conclusion
5.2 Recommendation

REFERENCE

1.0 INTRODUCTION

The Sakumono Ramsar wetland is situated north of the coastal road between the cities of Accra and Tema. The wetland comprises an open lagoon, a floodplain (7 km2) and a freshwater marsh. The lagoon is separated from the sea by a narrow sand dune on which the Accra –Tema road is built. The Sakumono wetland is the third most important site for shorebirds on the Ghana coast.

The Ramsar Convention Secretariat (2006) defines wetlands As “areas of marsh, fen, peat land or water, whether natural or artificial, permanent or temporary, with water that is static or flowing, fresh, brackish or salt, including areas of marine water the depth of low tide does not exceed six meters”. They act are transitional habitats, often forming the connection between aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. They can occur where the water table is at or close to the surface, in low-lying locations, or along the edges of lakes and rivers. Many wetlands are permanently flooded, while others flood only periodically in the raining season.

Wetlands are valuable ecosystems that occupy about 6% of the world’s land surface. They comprise both land ecosystems that are strongly influenced by water, and aquatic ecosystems with special characteristics due to shallowness and proximity to land (IUCN & Roggeri, H. (1995)). Although various different classifications of wetlands exist, a useful approach is one provided by the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. It divides wetlands into three main categories of wetland habitats: (1) marine/coastal wetlands; (2) inland wetlands; (3) man-made wetlands. The marine and coastal wetlands include estuaries, inter-tidal marshes, brackish, saline and freshwater lagoons, mangrove swamps, as well as coral reefs and rocky marine shores such as sea cliffs.

Inland wetlands refer to such areas as lakes, rivers, streams and creeks, waterfalls, marshes, peat lands and flooded meadows. Lastly, man-made wetlands include canals, aquaculture ponds, water storage areas and even wastewater treatment areas. It can therefore be said that wetlands are among the most productive ecosystems in the world, comparable to rain forests and coral reefs.

Wetlands provide many benefits to society – such as fish and wildlife habitats, natural water quality improvement, flood storage, shoreline erosion protection, opportunities for recreation and aesthetic appreciation, and natural products for our use at little or no cost. Protecting wetlands can, in turn, protect our health and safety by reducing flood damage and preserving water quality

1.1 PROBLEM STATEMENT

Wetlands perform a number of functions that provide services, which people value. They plays a crucial role at a regional level by filtering pollutants and regulating water flows (influencing groundwater recharge, flood impacts, and water availability during the dry season). In recent years, decision makers have placed increasing focus on valuing ecosystem services in order to capture as complete an accounting as possible of the costs and benefits of land and resource management programs and policies, such as wetland conservation and restoration (Stuip et al., 2002a).

The five wetlands provide important nesting grounds for thousands of migratory birds, fish species, and plants. In addition, the surrounding communities obtain their main income from the wetlands. Coastal wet-lands that usually have extensive mangrove stripes also mitigate coastal disasters such as storms and flooding (Kumi et al. 2015). Under healthy conditions, wetlands possess the unique attribute to process point-source pollution, diminish the negative impacts of water pollution, and thus provide communities with clean water (Faulkner 2004)

There exists a number of literature on the benefits and challenges of wetlands to local communities. However, in Ghana it is difficult to find a literature on participatory approach with the resident community around a wetland to determine the benefits and challenges they get from the availability of the wetland as well as how they are willing to go to conserve the wetland in the face of degradation. This study therefore is aimed at examining the benefits, challenges and degree of willingness to conserve the Sakumono wetland through a participatory approach with the local community.

1.2 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

This study would contribute to the knowledge on the benefits and challenges wetlands to the country and the local communities.

1.3 RESEARCH OBJECTIVE

Main Objective

To determine the economic value of Sakumono wetland ecosystem services in order to guide in decision making for its future conservation as well as to sustain its ecological and socio economical functions.

Specific Objective.

- To determine benefits derived from the wetland by the local communities
- To determine the challenges the local communities face in preserving the wetland
- To determine the challenges the local communities face due to the presence of the wetland
- To determine the extent to which they are willing to conserve the wetland

1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS

Considering the purpose and objectives of the study, the following guiding questions would be addressed in this research:

1. What are the benefits the communities derives from the Sakumono wetland
2. What are the challenges facing the community in their efforts to preserve the wetland
3. What are the challenges facing the community due to the presence of the wetland
4. What would they give to see the conservation of the wetland

2.0 LITERATURE REVIEW

2.1 Benefits Derived from Wetlands

The preservation of wetland ecosystems depend on their ecological and economic values to the country and local community. Wetlands are among the most productive ecosystems in the world and host a large amount of biological diversity (Ghermandi et al., 2008). The economic reason for conserving wetland is therefore associated to the benefits derived from them (MEA, 2005). Wetlands are therefore seen to be of importance for the livelihood of many people across the globe.

Wetlands also provides habitat for a number flora and fauna which are of great economic benefits. Brander et al., (2006) identifies some of these habitats as rivers, lakes, coastal lagoons, mangroves, peat-lands and coral reefs

Ecosystem services aggregate a variety of benefits, economics normally classifies these benefits into three different categories: (i) goods (e.g.resource harvests, water and genetic material). (ii) Services (e.g. water purification, climate regulation, erosion control etc.), and (iii) cultural benefits (e.g. spiritual and religious, heritage, etc) (MEA, 2003). In addition to these local uses, the system of interconnected wetlands plays a crucial role at a regional level by filtering pollutants and regulating water flows (influencing groundwater recharge, flood impacts, and water availability during the dry season) (MFPED, 2004).

A study conducted by the Ramsar Convention Bureau revealed that the dollar value of our natural ecosystems was approximately US$33T. The estimated global value of wetland ecosystems was US$14.9T, 45% of the total. A mangrove fringed shoreline in the Gulf of Panama yielded $95,000 per km from shrimp, other crustaceans and fish. 40,000 ha of managed mangrove forest in Malaysia yielded $10M in timber and charcoal and $100M in fish and prawns (SAEL, 2004). This shows that, the economic benefits derived from wetlands cannot be underestimated.

2.2 Challenges Associated with Wetlands

Despite all of the benefits associated with wetlands, there are challenges interms of wetland management and use. According to Raburu P.O., Kwena F. and Nyandiga, C.O.(2012), the challenges faced in the management of wetlands includes lack of institutional framework, policy failures, lack of baseline information and awareness among stakeholders, and unclear land tenure and ownership within wetland ecosystems. Other challenges include inadequate funding of wetland conservation initiatives, inadequate community participation, variability of climatic conditions, lack of political goodwill and lack of wetland management plans to guide towards wise use of wetlands.

There are also challenges not only in the efforts to preserve the wetland but also the challenges faced due to the presence of the wetland by the community. The Ramsar Secretariat Bureau also identifies the following as challenges facing community around wetlands who benefits from its resources.

1. Disease; Wetlands in the form of swamps are breeding grounds for mosquitoes and other diseases. Mosquito populations may be controlled partly in constructed wetlands.
2. Methane Production; Wetlands produce about one quarter of the Earth's atmospheric methane through the anaerobic decomposition of organic matter. Methane has 10 times the atmospheric warming capacity of carbon dioxide and is the most effective greenhouse gas for global warming.

2.3 Community Willingness to Preserve Wetland

The tragedy of the commons is an economic theory of a situation within a shared-resource system where individual users acting independently according to their own self-interest behave contrary to the common good of all users by depleting that resource through their collective action. Smith et al., (2007) identified major threats to wetland as, wetlands’ products and services being a public goods and not having clear property rights.

An understanding of the socio-economic value of wetlands is therefore crucial when deciding on conservation and development priorities related to land use and the allocation of scarce resources from and around wetlands. According the Ramachandra et al., (2004) the economic value of some environmental goods and services is measured by a community’s willingness-to-pay for it. In turn, this willingness-to-pay reflects individuals' choice for the goods in question.

[...]

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Details

Title
Biodiversity Conservation. Examination of the Benefits and Challenges of Wetlands to Local Communities in Sakumono, Accra-Ghana
Grade
B
Author
Year
2018
Pages
13
Catalog Number
V980391
ISBN (eBook)
9783346336811
ISBN (Book)
9783346336828
Language
English
Tags
biodiversity, conservation, examination, benefits, challenges, wetlands, local, communities, sakumono, accra-ghana
Quote paper
Daniel Akoto (Author), 2018, Biodiversity Conservation. Examination of the Benefits and Challenges of Wetlands to Local Communities in Sakumono, Accra-Ghana, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/980391

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