Wetlands in Africa are an important source of water and nutrients necessary for biological productivity and often sheer survival of people. Sustainable management of wetlands is therefore critical to the long-term health, safety and welfare of many African communities. Despite their importance, wetlands are being modified or reclaimed, often driven by economic and financial motives. Wetlands, however, contain numerous goods and services that have an economic value not only to local populations but also to people living outside the periphery of the wetland. These values can be made more explicit through economic valuation studies. The goal of this paper is to highlight the importance of wetlands for local populations in Africa and the economic consequences for these people if wetlands are degraded. After explaining the characteristics, distribution and status of wetlands in Africa, the economic values of African wetlands will be highlighted through a discussion of several economic valuation studies carried out for different African wetlands. Recommendations are made as to how economic values may be used in decision-making on wetlands to allow more sustainable management of African wetlands.

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doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolecon.2004.08.003, hdl.handle.net/1765/71716
Ecological Economics
Department of Sociology

Schuyt, K. (2005). Economic consequences of wetland degradation for local populations in Africa. Ecological Economics, 53(2), 177–190. doi:10.1016/j.ecolecon.2004.08.003